Visterra, Serum Institute team to find antibody treatment for dengue fever

The Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Visterra Inc. announced Wednesday that they will be forming a partnership to develop an antibody treatment for dengue fever.

The Serum Institute will receive an exclusive license for the Indian subcontinent for the VIS513 from Visterra. This candidate is a monoclonal antibody intended to neutralize four variations of the dengue virus.

“An important goal for us is to provide a therapeutic option as quickly as possible for patients with dengue, as there is currently no specific treatment and disease prevention is solely dependent on limiting or eradicating mosquitoes that transmit the virus,” Visterra CEO and President Brian Pereira said. “We believe that we can best fulfill this goal in the Indian subcontinent by pursuing the development of VIS513 with Serum Institute. Serum Institute has a record of developing novel biological products and expansive commercialization capabilities in the Indian subcontinent, which makes them the ideal partner.”

During preclinical studies, the candidate was successful in protecting animal models that had been exposed to what is considered a lethal amount of the virus. Visterra is in the process of developing the VIC513 as a single-use treatment option.

The virus, which is often found in sub-tropic and tropical regions, is spread through mosquitoes and has symptoms including severe headaches, fever, and muscle and bone pain. The potentially fatal virus can also cause plasma to leak from the circulatory system.

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