This technology relates to the therapeutic use of antibodies to decrease the potential neurodegenerative effect of the HERV-K retrovirus. Previous work has shown that patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) can have HERV-K activation. In animal models, activation of HERV-K can lead to neurodegenerative symptoms similar to those exhibited by ALS patients. This neurodegenerative effect is thought to be caused by the release of HERV-K envelope proteins into the extracellular space. Work with monoclonal antibodies in vitro has neutralized the toxicity of this protein.
The antibodies could be used therapeutically for treating patients with ALS.
Currently there is no treatment available that targets HERV-K. Hence use of this antibody could be of therapeutic efficacy.