To support the creation of Ebola virus vaccines and treatments, Integral Molecular, a leader in membrane protein antibody discovery, has identified the key molecular interactions that mediate the effectiveness of the anti-Ebola ZMapp™ therapeutic cocktail, which is in clinical trials after being used to treat select patients during the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak.
Using its proprietary Shotgun Mutagenesis mapping platform, Integral Molecular identified the exact binding sites, or epitopes, of the therapeutic antibodies in the ZMapp, ZMAb, and MB-003 cocktails. This work helps explain why ZMapp has been more effective than other cocktails in treating disease, and provides a design pathway for improved therapeutic drug cocktails. This work is published in the November 2015 issue of the Journal of Virology and was presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) annual meeting in October.
“To accelerate research during the global health threat of Ebola, we made it a priority to apply our high-throughput mapping technology to identify the epitopes of ZMapp,” said Benjamin Doranz, President and CEO of Integral Molecular. “These antibodies are the most important Ebola therapeutics developed to date, but prior to our work there was not enough information about where and how these antibodies acted on their target to prevent infection.”
This research was funded by contracts recently awarded to Integral Molecular from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Under this award the company is identifying how antibodies protect against viral diseases, aiding in the discovery of effective treatments and vaccines.
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.