Monoclonal Antibody Shown to Protect Against Staph Infections

ATLANTA -- Inhibitex, Inc. today announced the publication of preclinical data describing the generation, characterization, and in vivo efficacy of a murine monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to clumping factor A (ClfA), a surface protein found on virtually all strains of S. aureus, including those that are antibiotic-resistant. The study, titled "Characterization of a Protective Monoclonal Antibody Recognizing Staphylococcus aureus MSCRAMM Protein Clumping Factor A," was published in the December issue of Infection and Immunity.

As described more fully in the journal article, the study demonstrated that a single administration of the monoclonal antibody, designated as mAb 12-9, significantly reduced S. aureus mediated sepsis-induced mortality in an in vivo model. In September, 2003 the company announced the completion of a Phase I study of its investigational drug Aurexis, the humanized version of mAb 12-9. The company expects to initiate a Phase II clinical trial of Aurexis in early 2004.

Inhibitex, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing "first in field" antibody-based products for the treatment and prevention of staphylococcal and other serious bacterial and fungal infections. The company currently has two product candidates, Veronate and Aurexis, in clinical development, and several other ongoing preclinical development programs, including a partnership with Wyeth to develop staphylococcal vaccines. All of these product candidates and development programs are based upon the company's proprietary MSCRAMM protein technology platform, which it is currently utilizing to identify and create antibodies that can be used therapeutically to eliminate, or reduce the severity of, infections caused by bacterial and fungal organisms.

Source: Inhibitex, Inc.