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GRONINGEN, The Netherlands -- IQ Corporation (IQC), a Dutch biopharmaceutical company, today announced that its two anti-anthrax therapy products have been selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing and evaluation by the government.
Under the terms of the agreement, the CDC, along with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), will evaluate the toxin-neutralizing capacities of IQ Corporations antibodies against the two components of the deadly Anthrax toxin Protective Antigen (PA) and Lethal Factor (LF).
The first of IQCs two fully human monoclonal antibodies (humAbs) to be evaluated by the CDC is Anthraxumab, a human antibody directed against PA the non-toxic, but essential component of the deadly anthrax toxin. The second of the antibodies to be evaluated is IQCs humAb that recognizes LF, the deadly component of the anthrax toxin. This will be the first known evaluation by the government of an anti-LF antibody.
Currently, a number of monoclonal antibodies against PA are in development by different companies. However, according to Herman Groen, PhD, chief scientific officer of IQ Corporation, there is a concern that the PA molecule may be subject to genetic alteration rendering anti-PA antibodies completely ineffective.
"This is where IQ has a solution, since our anti-LF antibody is the first known human antibody-based product to recognize LF and neutralize the Lethal Toxin in anthrax, said Groen. So even if PA is deliberately altered in such a way that it wont be recognized by antibodies, our therapy will still be able to neutralize the lethal toxin and will be beneficial to those exposed to anthrax. We are convinced that the combined application of our two antibodies will be a very potent post-exposure treatment for anthrax.
In spore-challenge studies, one injection of Anthraxumab applied several hours after infection was demonstrated to be 100 percent effective in rescuing mice exposed to 30 to 40 times the lethal dose of anthrax. The anti-LF antibody was found to be as effective as Anthraxumab in neutralizing the lethal toxin.
Roland Lageveen, PhD, CEO of IQ Corporation, said the 2001 anthrax mailings have made it clear that the currently applied antibiotics treatment route needs to be augmented by toxin neutralization.
The advantage of IQCs humAb therapies is in their ability to grant instant protection, plus, they are effective both pre- and post-exposure, said Lageveen. The acceptance of our antibodies into the CDC program emphasizes the need for a treatment program that can be targeted to only those who have been, are suspected to have been, or are at risk of becoming exposed to anthrax. This removes the need for costly mass vaccination programs and eliminates potential large-scale, vaccination-associated health risks.
IQ Corporation will also seek to obtain FDA approval for Anthraxumab and its anti-LF product and will target both for the Department of Homeland Securitys Project BioShield program.
Source: IQ Corporation