Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
A new study, from the Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Aberdeen (UK), is the first to successfully use antibodies cloned from patients who have recovered from Candida infection as a treatment in animal models.
The research, recently published in Nature Communications, has used these monoclonal antibodies to successfully protect animals from bloodstream infections and has demonstrated their potential in both treating and diagnosing Candida infections.
Leader of the research, Fiona Rudkin (University of Aberdeen), is now heading up the creation of a spinout company that will conduct the next phase of therapeutic development. She commented: “There is an urgent need to develop better ways for diagnosing and treating life-threatening fungal infections. Human antibodies have revolutionized the way many cancers are treated and diagnosed.
“This research marks a huge step towards using similar antibody-based approaches to tackle fungal infections. These antibodies will now be developed as novel antifungal drugs through the creation of mycoBiologics – a new spin out company focused on improving the outcome of patients suffering from life-threatening fungal infections.”
Neil Gow (University of Exeter, UK) who supervised the research while at Aberdeen, concluded: “Globally, fungal infections are under-recognized as a major killer. They’re hard to detect and for every day we fail to diagnose a serious fungal infection, the chances of survival diminishes. This research brings us a step closer to a day when we can use the antibodies that are generated by the human body to diagnose and treat fungal infections.”
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Sources: Rudkin FM, Raziunaite H, Workman H et al. Single human B cell-derived monoclonal anti-Candida antibodies enhance phagocytosis and protect against disseminated candidiasis. Nat. Comms. (2018); www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2018-12/uoe-had120718.php