NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ichor Biologics received a $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to utilize its platform technology to develop broadly neutralizing antibodies against deadly hantavirus infections.
Hantavirus infections cause a severe febrile disease termed hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), which leads to death in up to 40% of otherwise healthy individuals. Hantaviruses are typically transmitted from rodent-to-person; however, evidence exists that at least one strain, Andes hantavirus, is able to spread person-to-person. While hantavirus infections are generally rare, factors such as climate change and urbanization are expected to increase the incidence of infections in the coming decades. Importantly, due to their high mortality rate, potential for intentional dissemination and lack of any effective treatment, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD) all consider hantavirus a potential bioterrorism threat.
New York City-based Ichor Biologics has developed a novel platform for the development of human monoclonal antibodies to treat infectious diseases. Ichor’s multifaceted platform identifies the key immune responses that correlate with protection from infectious diseases and engineers its antibody therapeutics to induce these protective immune responses in patients suffering from acute disease. Ichor also utilizes proprietary machine learning software to predict antibody-pathogen binding regions and make high affinity variants of its therapeutic antibody candidates. Moreover, Ichor not only develops its own proprietary Ab therapeutics, but also offers Ab discovery and development services to biotechnology companies interested in developing antibody-based therapeutics.
“Our company is leveraging the evolution of natural resistance to infectious agents in a few unique individuals to develop therapeutics that will safely and effectively treat all patients suffering from particular infectious diseases,” said CEO of Ichor Biologics, Dr. Raymond Alvarez, Ph.D.
Previously, Ichor Biologics developed two therapeutic antibodies against one of the most deadly strains of hantavirus and demonstrated that they were both 100% protective in-vivo (Garrido et al.). For this grant, Ichor aims to build on its success and develop broadly neutralizing Abs against all hantavirus infections.