An antibody manufactured at the University of Queensland will be used in world-first human Hendra virus clinical trials starting this month.
UQ Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) Director Professor Peter Gray said the monoclonal antibody m.102.4 was the world’s first antibody administered to humans as a treatment for the rare but deadly viral disease.
“Queensland Health contracted us to manufacture the antibody for emergency stockpiles and for the human trials,” Gray said.
The antibody was engineered to mimic antibodies the human body produced naturally.
“It is important to understand that the antibody treatment is not a vaccine, and it needs to be administered within a short time after exposure to the Hendra virus,” he said.
The treatment is considered an experimental therapy and will only be used in emergency situations until the human trials have been completed.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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