Monoclonal Antibodies Found That Stop All Flu Types

Posted on February 23, 2009  Comments (3)

Universal Flu Drug Stops All Flu Types

A new kind of drug cocktail kills all types of flu bugs and could protect against pandemic or seasonal flu. “I certainly believe that a therapy for all kinds of influenza may be within our grasp,” study researcher Robert Liddington, DPhil, director of infectious diseases at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, Calif., said at a news conference announcing the finding.

The treatment is based on new monoclonal antibodies that attack flu viruses in a shared Achilles heel. Of the many different subtypes of flu, there are only two basic patterns for this vulnerable, essential part of the flu virus.

And despite heroic efforts, researchers could not breed a flu strain resistant to the treatment — suggesting that there’s only a very small chance that mutated viruses could render the treatment obsolete. The breakthrough finding is a joint effort from labs at the Burnham Institute; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston; and the CDC in Atlanta.

Like many breakthroughs, the finding was partly accidental. The researchers were, at first, trying only to create a treatment to stop the H5N1 bird flu virus, the most likely candidate for igniting the next worldwide flu pandemic.

While monoclonal antibodies against flu are new, a wide range of drugs are based on this technology. That means the new, fully human anti-flu antibodies could become new human drugs relatively quickly…

“We hope these antibodies are in clinical trials during the 2011-2012 flu season — maybe earlier,” Marasco said. “This really is an important advance in the field of antiviral therapy. The possibility of having a universal therapy for flu is made more real and possible because of these discoveries.”

Related: Study Finds No Measurable Benefit to Flu ShotsH5N1 Influenza Evolution and SpreadStudy challenges notion of ‘pandemic’ flu

3 Responses to “Monoclonal Antibodies Found That Stop All Flu Types”

  1. Roger
    February 24th, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

    Although there is currently no strain that is resistant (at least no strain the researches have come across), if we start using this drug to attack the flu virus eventually we will “ween” out those mutants that are, and then we’ll be back to stage one! But I guess that’s just the way it is

  2. Sam
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

    Welcome to a war we can’t win. It is quite ironic that we think of ourselves as the superior race when every passing day more and more of us are eaten on and destroyed by the various viruses and diseases of the world.

    Proof in my opinion that intelligence is in the eye of the beholder.

  3. Anonymous
    May 4th, 2009 @ 2:32 am

    Excellent!!!Nice to hear a new kind of drug cocktail kills all types of flu bugs and could protect against pandemic or seasonal flu. Nowadays ,the technology has been improved, researchers feel quite easy to produce drugs..
    Keep posting!!!Nice information..

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