Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP today announced that it has entered into a patent license agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, for intellectual property related to the monoclonal antibody mAb114, an experimental treatment for Ebola.
mAb114 is a monoclonal antibody — a protein that binds to a single target on a pathogen — isolated from a human survivor of the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, a city in the DRC. Nancy Sullivan, Ph.D., chief of the Biodefense Research Section in NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), and her team, in collaboration with researchers from the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) in the DRC and the Institute for Biomedical Research in Switzerland, discovered that the survivor retained antibodies against Ebola 11 years after infection. They isolated the antibodies and tested the most favorable ones in the laboratory and non-human primate studies, and selected mAb114 as the most promising.
mAb114 is currently being administered to some Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo under two separate protocols.
The experimental treatment was first made available under a compassionate use program known as Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered Interventions (MEURI), an ethical framework developed by the WHO which allows for access to investigational therapeutics outside of clinical trials.
In November 2018, a randomized controlled trial of mAb114 and other investigational Ebola therapeutics began. The experimental treatments are being evaluated for efficacy and safety for the treatment of Ebola patients. This trial is coordinated by WHO, and led and sponsored by the DRC’s National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) in partnership with the DRC Ministry of Health, NIAID, The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and other organizations. In preclinical studies, mAb114 has shown protection against Ebola in non-human primates with only one dose of treatment.
“Developing convenient and highly effective therapies is an essential tool for Ebola containment,” said Wendy Holman, CEO and co-founder of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP. “Patients come to the Ebola treatment units because they want life-saving care. Without treatment options, there is very little incentive for patients to seek isolated care away from friends and family. We are thrilled to have partnered with NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (“VRC”) on mAb114 and will continue the incredible work that the VRC team has done.”
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company focused on orphan and infectious diseases. The team at Ridgeback is dedicated to working toward finding life-saving and life changing solutions for patients and diseases that need champions.