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New Collaboration Aims to Increase Yield of Anti-Zika Antibody

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Batavia Biosciences has announced an agreement to utilize Horizon Discovery’s GS knockout CHO K1 cell line expression system for the development of high yield antibody-expressing cell lines. Initially, Batavia will deploy the system for production of a potent Zika virus-neutralizing antibody, working in collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and IDBiologics, a company which focuses on developing human antibodies to infectious diseases. “We’re excited to work with Batavia to move this promising Zika antibody therapy one step closer to the clinic,” stated James Crowe Jr, M.D., Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.

The Zika virus-neutralizing antibody was discovered three years ago by VUMC researchers in collaboration with colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine. The group reported the isolation of a human monoclonal antibody that in a mouse model “markedly reduced” infection by the Zika virus. The VUMC antibody, dubbed ZIKV-117, binds to an epitope or “part of” the Zika virus in a way that no other antibody has to date. “Developing high yield antibody producer CHO lines is difficult and expensive,” added Robert Carnahan, Ph.D., Director of Vanderbilt Antibody and Protein Resource. “That is why this new solution is so important to the anti-Zika antibody project.”