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New antibody promises better survival for influenza, pneumonia patients

 Scientists have developed an antibody that promises better chances of survival for patients suffering from influenza and pneumonia.

Washington: Scientists have developed an antibody that promises better chances of survival for patients suffering from influenza and pneumonia.

Researchers from NTU Singapore claim that the antibody proved effective in lab tests, and is now being made suitable for use in humans. They are also using the new antibody to develop a diagnostic kit which can help doctors accurately track the recovery progress of flu and pneumonia patients.

The patent-pending antibody has generated much interest globally. Two biotech multi-national corporations, Abcam based in the United Kingdom and Adipogen International based in the United States, have won the rights to license the antibody. The two multinational companies will produce the antibody for sale to global organisations doing research in vaccine and drug development.

NTU Singapore's Associate Professor, Andrew Tan, who developed it, said that while it would still take up to 8 years to develop the antibody into a useable treatment for human patients, they were currently developing a diagnostic kit which should be commercialised in about 3 years.

The kit would enable doctors to diagnose the severity of pneumonia and the efficacy of the prescribed treatment, by detecting the concentration of a particular protein called ANGPTL4, which is present in samples taken from patients suffering from upper respiratory tract infections.

First author of the paper Li Liang said they proved that ANGPTL4 caused blood vessels in the lungs to be leakier, which allowed more white blood cells and other antibodies to enter the lungs to combat the infection. By blocking ANGPTL4, the 'leakiness' of the blood vessels is lessened, thus reducing the inflammation process.

The breakthrough finding was published in the latest issue of the prestigious international peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports. 

From Zee News

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