UPMC releases monoclonal antibody assessment for DoD

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recently released the findings of a major study on next-generation monoclonal antibodies.

The Center for Biosecurity of UPMC conducted the study to assess the potential use of next-generation monoclonal antibodies as medical countermeasures for the U.S. Department of Defense. The DoD is interested in the technical feasibility and strategic implications of investing in human monoclonal antibodies to protect DoD personnel.

UPMC researchers believe monoclonal antibodies have great potential to counter biological warfare agents as well as naturally occurring infectious disease threats that are not currently addressed by MCMs. The antibodies display a remarkable degree of specificity, are able to recruit additional host immune components to fight infection, confer near immediate immunity, can be successfully given to all populations and show a low rate of side effects.

Monoclonal antibodies are also believed to potentially offer both pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis in addition to therapeutic benefits, even in cases where their targets have antibiotic resistance. UPMC said that there is enough scientific evidence to suggest that monoclonal antibodies could be effective in treating the diseases caused by the biological warfare agents of concern to DoD.

Monoclonal antibodies have become, in recent years, a blockbuster for commercial drug-makers, but have yet to be used regularly as MCMs.

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