Influenza virus is a global health concern due to its unpredictable pandemic potential. Frequent mutations of surface molecules, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), contribute to low efficacy of the annual flu vaccine and therapeutic resistance to standard antiviral agents. The populations at high risk of influenza virus infection, such as the elderly and infants, generally mount low immune responses to vaccines, and develop severe disease after infection. Novel therapeutics with high effectiveness and mutation resistance are needed. Previously, we described the generation of a fully human influenza virus matrix protein 2 (M2) specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), Z3G1, which recognized the majority of M2 variants from natural viral isolates, including highly pathogenic avian strains. Passive immunotherapy with Z3G1 significantly protected mice from the infection when administered either prophylactically or 1–2days post infection. In the present study, we showed that Z3G1 significantly protected mice from lethal infection when treatment was initiated 3days post infection. In addition, therapeutic administration of Z3G1 reduced lung viral titers in mice infected with different viral strains, including amantadine and oseltamivir-resistant strains. Furthermore, prophylactic and therapeutic administration of Z3G1 sustained O2 saturation and reduced lung pathology in monkeys infected with a pandemic H1N1 strain. Finally, de-fucosylated Z3G1 with an IgG1/IgG3 chimeric Fc region was generated (AccretaMab® Z3G1), and showed increased ADCC and CDC in vitro. Our data suggest that the anti-M2 mAb Z3G1 has great potential as a novel anti-flu therapeutic agent.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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