With a new $5.5M award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Integral Molecular, Inc. is expanding its current efforts to discover antibodies against Ebola virus and identify how they prevent Ebola virus infection, research that will significantly impact the development of Ebola therapeutics and vaccines.
This funding follows an initial five-year, $3.5 million NIH contract awarded to Integral Molecular by NIAID to study the immune response to Ebola and Hepatitis C viruses. The expanded funding enables the company to identify how different antibodies bind to the viral surface and to correlate these with anti-viral protection.
Insights into the immune response generated by patients who survive a deadly Ebola virus infection, together with the precise binding sites of their antibodies, will provide a remarkable resource for developing vaccines and curative therapies for Ebola virus disease. To date, the company has obtained over 100 antibodies against Ebola virus, including a large collection isolated from a survivor of the 2014 outbreak in West Africa. Over the last seven years, Integral Molecular has mapped over 300 novel antibody binding sites on the surface of viral pathogens. These studies are being conducted in collaboration with Dr. James Crowe, Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.
“Our 15 years of experience with pathogenic viruses including Dengue, Chikungunya, Hepatitis C, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, HIV, and Ebola, has expanded our understanding of how antibodies protect against these viruses,” said Benjamin Doranz, CEO of Integral Molecular. “This recent support from NIH validates our approach, allows us to broaden the scope of our studies, and will provide new insights that will result in improved therapeutics and vaccines against Ebolaviruses.”
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is a research-driven biotechnology company creating innovative technologies and a pipeline of therapeutic antibodies against under-exploited membrane protein targets, including GPCRs, ion channels, transporters, and viral envelopes. Committed to understanding the biology of infectious viruses, the company utilizes its Shotgun Mutagenesis platform technology to rapidly map antibody binding sites on structurally complex targets. Integral Molecular offers Shotgun Mutagenesis services for customer-specified targets on a fee-for-service basis. Pre-validated Shotgun Mutagenesis target libraries are also available for several human membrane and viral envelope proteins, including Ebola virus glycoprotein.