iBio unveils anthrax antibody patent

IBio, Inc. announced Wednesday it has received a patent for plant-based immunoglobins or antibodies that were shown to be effective against anthrax in early animal models.

According to company Vice President Wayne Fitzmaurice, this antibody development technology expands product candidacy to the methods used to develop a vaccine for use in natural outbreaks and those caused by a biological attack.

Antibodies produced via the company's iBioLaunch gene expression method were shown to be 100 percent effective against normally lethal levels of anthrax contamination in rodent and non-human primate models versus untreated animals.

"A non-glycosylated version of this antibody binds PA, neutralizes anthrax LeTx activity in vitro and possesses superior efficacy compared with the glycosylated form of this antibody in non-human primates -- a significantly longer half-life and 100 percent protection against a lethal dose of aerosolized anthrax spore challenge after a single IV administration," iBio Chief Science Officer Terence Ryan said. "These results suggest that this monoclonal antibody may be a useful tool for the treatment of inhalation anthrax in humans."

Anthrax is considered to be a category A bioterrorism agent because the ease of spreading the disease and its overall threat to tissues makes it highly lethal. The company aims to pursue further commercialization of its iBioLaunch technology for application to other bacterial and viral infections.