Researchers at The Wistar Institute and colleagues say they have successfully engineered novel DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) targeting Zaire Ebolavirus that were effective in preclinical models. Their study (“In Vivo Delivery of Synthetic Human DNA-Encoded Monoclonal Antibodies Protect against Ebolavirus Infection in a Mouse Model”), published online in Cell Reports, showed that DMAbs were expressed over a wide window of time and offered complete and long-term protection against lethal virus challenges. DMAbs may also provide a novel powerful platform for rapid screening of monoclonal antibodies enhancing preclinical development, according to the scientists.
“We started with antibodies isolated from survivors and compared the activity of anti-Ebola virus DMAbs and recombinant monoclonal antibodies over time,” added Ami Patel, Ph.D., first author on the study and associate staff scientist in the Wistar Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center. “We showed that in vivo expression of DMAbs supports extended protection over traditional antibody approaches.”