(June 10, 2005) -- A European firm announced today (June 10) that it has found a human antibody that may offer protection against the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus.
The Dutch biotechnology firm Crucell N.V. said in a written release that it had discovered "a monoclonal antibody for protection against West Nile virus. Study results have demonstrated that the fully human monoclonal antibody, derived from patients who survived West Nile infection, effectively neutralized the virus in cell culture and fully protected mice from an otherwise lethal infection."
The company made the announcement today (June 10) at the 8th Annual KIT (Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine) conference in Hamburg, Germany. The firm said its West Nile virus vaccine development program is due to enter clinical trials at the end of 2005.
"While the vaccine will be targeted at preventing infection in the elderly population most at risk of developing the most severe form of the disease, the antibody may be applied post-infection in specific cases to prevent the potentially fatal onset of encephalitis," the firm said.