NCI Co-Discovered Antibody Therapy Gifted for Multiple Compassionate Use Cases

NCI Co-Discovered Antibody Therapy Gifted for Compassionate Use

A monoclonal antibody therapy discovery that arose from a 2005 research collaboration between scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF) has again been designated for human compassionate therapeutic use – this time in Australia.  The technology is known as the m102.4 human monoclonal antibody – the world’s first and only treatment against the highly pathogenic Hendra virus. The jointly-owned invention is managed by HJF who is working closely with its licensing partner, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc., to quickly move the development of this treatment forward. This has already allowed it to be used in multiple compassionate use cases where individuals were exposed to the deadly Hendra virus. 

The Hendra virus is a bat-born virus that can spread to horses, who can pass the virus to humans. It was identified in 1994 in Hendra, Australia. There have been seven cases of Hendra virus in humans, four of which resulted in death. The m102.4 antibody is given to individuals exposed to the virus within a week of exposure in an attempt to prevent the individual from contracting the virus infection.

One such case took place in 2010 when the cell line that produces the m102.4 human monoclonal antibody was given to the Australian Government, who have since been able to distribute the antibody to 15 individuals in Australia that had experienced high exposure to the Hendra virus and one person in the US who was exposed to the Nipah virus; a closely related member of the paramyxovirus family.

In 2018 there was a Nipah virus outbreak in India, with a subsequent outbreak in 2021, where Australia was able to give doses of the m102.4 antibody to the Government of India. Most recently, there has been a Hendra virus outbreak in horses in Australia where two individuals who were in close contact with a horse that had been infected were able to receive the m102.4 through compassionate use.

Mapp Pharmaceutical, Inc. itself has recently received a Department of Defense award that will be used to push the m102.4 antibody through a Phase I trial.