8 March 2011
Immuron Limited has received results of recent laboratory studies that show its antibody preparations have powerful and broad neutralising efficacy against many clades (strains) of HIV.
These results were presented as part of the latest findings on its antibodies against HIV at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.
The results represent important new findings that partly explain the remarkably broad neutralisation efficacy of Immuron's antibodies. The findings indicate Immuron's antibodies bind and neutralise a significant number of strains of HIV infections tested to date.
A large proportion of Immuron's antibodies specifically bind to the CD4 binding site of the outer envelope spike used by all HIV to bind and enter target lymphocytes. The HIV CD4 binding site is the portion of the HIV that attaches to a host's white blood cells, thereby enabling the HIV to enter a host's white blood cells. By specifically binding to that site, Immuron's antibodies prevent the HIV from binding to the host's white blood cells. This site, unlike most HIV antigens, is preserved across all HIV strains and therefore is an important target for protection against HIV infection.
The work has been performed in collaboration with Dr Damian Purcell's team at University of Melbourne. Immuron’s antibodies were made for the first time with the Purcell novel vaccine antigen against the HIV glycoprotein 140.
International expert in HIV virology Dr Damian Purcell said, "The ability to economically produce large quantities of bovine antibody that potently neutralise the HIV swarm opens the possibility of preventing HIV infection in high risk individuals."
The concept of this early stage research is to develop a safe and effective microbicide for prevention of transmission of HIV during intercourse. The laboratory tests in Melbourne showed excellent activity from these antibodies.
The next phase of development will likely include animal models of prevention of HIV transmission.