CEACAM1 antibodies for anti-viral therapy
Cytotoxic CD8-positive T cells constitute the crucial leukocyte subpopulation for a cellular response against viral infection. Since only very few direct anti-viral therapeutics are available, the stimulation of an efficient and specific immune response against a viral infection is a valid alternative or additional therapeutic approach. The first of such strategies has been established by use of high doses of interferon, which however has a high risk of adverse reactions of the immune system, and low response rates. Therefore, it is mandatory to search for further immune stimulatory strategies that more specifically induce an anti-viral T cell repsonse.
The herein described approach is based on a antibody-mediated stimulation of the carcino-embryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1), which activates early parts of both the B cell and T cell receptor-induced signal transduction.
The researchers have shown on the example of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) that these antibodies stimulate the activation and expansion of virus specific cytotoxic T cells, which comes along with a reduced virus load in serum and organs of mice. In vitro studies confirmed efficacy also against influenza virus and cytomegalovirus.
The monoclonal, humanized anti-CEACAM1 antibodies are offered for licensing and further therapeutic development.
- Complementary anti-viral therapy Option
- Applies to a broad range of viruses
- Specific immune response against specific viruses
The researcher have conducted experiments with a LMCV-specific immune response mouse model. Further proof of principle with the humanized variant of the antibody has been provided by means of humanized CEACAM1 mice. The antibody activates human virus-specific CD8+ T cells in vitro.
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Khairnar, V., et al. (2015) CEACAM1 induces B-cell survival and is essential for protective antiviral antibody production. Nature Communications 6: 6217.