Nature Meets Engineering
For more than 30 years, monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies have been at the forefront of groundbreaking advancements in treating a variety of conditions, namely in:
Other autoimmune disease categories
mAb use in infectious disease has been limited because the field was largely successful at treating with antibiotics and small molecules such as antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics. However, some infectious diseases still lack effective treatments. This gap in therapeutic options for existing and novel infectious diseases has driven the exploration of mAbs as effective treatment options.
New technologies have made it possible to harness the natural abilities of the immune system to treat previously hard-to-treat or untreatable infectious diseases by using antiviral antibodies from recovered human patients and then modifying them for therapeutic use.1
VIR uses highly specialized engineering that seeks to optimize the natural power of antibodies. This allows us to create therapies with the potential to do more to improve upon the natural immune response.
The Body’s Natural Response to Viral Infection
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that allow the immune system to remember and respond to antigens.
As part of the natural immune response, antibodies bind to viruses to prevent infection and eliminate them from the body.
Arms and stalks are 2 different regions of antibodies that serve distinct purposes.2
The arms bind to a virus. Each antibody recognizes and binds to a unique target on a given virus.2
The stalk interacts with other parts of the immune system to determine what kind of immune response will be triggered to eliminate viruses.2
We Engineer Monoclonal Antibodies From Recovered Patients With Successful Immune Responses
We carefully choose antibodies from recovered patients based on their affinity and selectivity to certain viruses.
We select antibodies that bind to rarely mutating targets on viruses. This creates antibody therapies that are intended to remain highly active and effective despite other changes to the virus.3,4
Then, we alter and augment the stalk region. These engineered changes can help fortify the immune response by5:
- extending half-life
- recruiting additional immune cells
- having the potential for lasting immunity
Pairing the body's natural immune response with our smart engineering gives us the opportunity to maximize therapeutic potential.
Transforming the Treatment of Infectious Diseases
Our immune-optimizing approach creates new mAb therapies that seek to combine our smart antibody design with the body’s natural target-identifying immune response. This allows us to help develop a comprehensive approach to treating some of the world’s most dangerous viruses, including: