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Inhibitex, Inc. has presented pre-clinical data supporting the efficacy of its antibody-based products in the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections.

SA-IGIV, the company's purified immunoglobulin (IgG) product that is derived from pooled human plasma selected for elevated levels of antibodies specific to S. aureus, dramatically reduced the level of bloodstream infections (bacteremia) in a rabbit model of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infectious endocarditis. Within 72 hours of treatment, all of the infected animals that received a single dose of SA-IGIV in combination with vancomycin had undetectable levels of MRSA in their bloodstream. In contrast, 50% of the infected animals that received vancomycin alone continued to have high levels of MRSA in their bloodstream. In addition, the level of MRSA within the tissues of the infected animals treated with the combination of SA-IGIV and vancomycin was lower than the infected animals that received vancomycin alone. The company is currently in a multi-site Phase II clinical trial designed to demonstrate whether treatment with SA-IGIV reduces the duration of bacteremia in patients with MRSA infectious endocarditis.

"This data is extremely exciting," stated Arnold S. Bayer, M.D., Infectious Disease specialist at the UCLA School of Medicine, and principal investigator of the laboratory that conducted the above referenced studies. "The possibility of treating an invasive and deadly disease, like infectious endocarditis, with an antibody product in combination with traditional antibiotics would be very attractive to clinicians worldwide."

The company has also presented pre-clinical data for its monoclonal antibodies against S. aureus. A single injection of a murine monoclonal antibody recognizing a surface protein on S. aureus statistically reduced bacterial mediated mortality in a mouse model. Inhibitex has a number of monoclonal antibodies against S. aureus in pre-clinical development and intends on entering Phase I clinical trials late next year.

"We are extremely pleased with these pre-clinical results and the potential to utilize our proprietary MSCRAMM(TM) protein platform to address the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections," said Joseph M. Patti, Ph.D., CSO and Vice President of Pre-Clinical Development. "These data indicate that MSCRAMM(TM) proteins provide a unique target for both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies that can be used to prevent and treat these potentially fatal infections."

Inhibitex, Inc., located in Alpharetta, Georgia, is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing "first in field" antibody-based products for the treatment and prevention of bacterial and fungal infections. The company is developing a pipeline of products based on its proprietary MSCRAMM(TM) technology platform. This technology is based on a family of surface proteins found on pathogenic organisms that allow them to attach to tissue and initiate an infection. The company has additional products approaching the clinic and in pre-clinical development based on this platform.

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Publication:Biotech Business
Date:Jul 1, 2001

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