A bispecific antibody that binds to HIV and directs it to the Fcreceptor on monocytes is able to significantly reduce HIV'sinfection of healthy T cells.

Researcher Alexandra Howell of Dartmouth Medical Schoolreported these in vitro results Tuesday at the 34th AnnualMeeting of the American Society of Hematology in Anaheim,Calif.

The bispecific antibody consisted of an antibody to gp120linked to the trigger antibody developed by Medarex Inc.(NASDAQ:MEDX) of Princeton, N.J., which targets the Fcreceptor. Howell and associates found that by adding thebispecific antibody to monocytes that had been stimulated bygamma-interferon, HIV infection of T cells was reduced bymore than 90 percent.

"The results of this study, as well as those obtained throughother in vitro studies published earlier this year, havedemonstrated that bispecific antibodies have the ability toinhibit infection of both T cells and macrophages, the two typesof immune cells that serve as primary hosts for HIV inhumans," said Donald Drakeman, president and chief executiveofficer of Medarex. Drakeman added that the company expectsto begin clinical trials next year.

Medarex's stock was up $1.13 a share on Tuesday to $8.13.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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