Study: New antibody blocks dengue virus

While Sanofi ($SNY) has been working long and hard on a promising late-stage dengue vaccine, investigators in the field believe that there are some real limitations to its effectiveness. Now a team led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore has discovered an antibody which they say has demonstrated a powerful effect against the dengue virus, pointing to a possible new therapy that can fight it. In this new study researchers in Singapore and at the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt concentrated on 5J7, which was picked from "200 different candidate antibody molecules by studying blood samples from a dengue infected patient." And they concluded that it had a powerful effect in preventing the virus from invading and infecting cells. "This kind of binding with the virus has never been observed and it explains why the antibody itself is so highly potent." said Associate Professor Shee Mei Lok, who is from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS. "The movement of virus surface proteins is highly essential for invading cells--you can think of antibody 5J7 locking the virus surface proteins, thus strapping the virus." Release