Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


VUMC Joins Effort to Stop Spread of Two Deadly Viruses


 
James Crowe Jr., MD

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) are participating in a national effort to develop vaccines and other treatments as countermeasures to prevent the spread of two emerging and deadly viruses -- Nipah and Hendra.

A five-year grant of up to $24.5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, was announced this week. Christopher Broder, PhD, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, is heading the effort.

James Crowe Jr., MD, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center at VUMC, said his group's role is to identify, develop and characterize anti-Nipah/Hendra human monoclonal antibodies directly from naturally infected human survivors.

These antibodies "will be used to understand and define the basic mechanisms by which naturally occurring antibodies kill Nipah and Hendra viruses," Crowe said in a news release.

Broder and Thomas Geisbert, PhD, at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and his colleagues previously described a prototype anti-Nipah/Hendra monoclonal antibody that has been successfully used on an emergency basis in more than a dozen individuals.

Crowe and his team will build on these preliminary results with a synthetic antibody to isolate fully human antibodies directly from the circulating white blood cells of the immune subjects, to identify optimal therapeutic antibodies.

Other partners in the NIAID grant include John Eldridge, PhD, chief scientific officer-vaccines at Profectus Biosciences, a clinical-stage vaccine development company based in Baltimore, Maryland, and Larry Zeitlin, PhD, president of Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., a San Diego-based firm that will prepare the new antibodies for human safety testing.

Hendra was identified in 1994 during an outbreak of respiratory and neurologic disease in horses and humans in Australia. Although Hendra infection in humans is rare, the risk of death approaches 60 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nipah, identified in 1999 during an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore, is an epidemic threat that kills up to 40 percent of its victims.

Last year the virus was placed on the World Health Organization's list of "priority diseases" for urgent research and development because of its high public health risk and potential to be used as a bioterrorism agent.

The NIAID grant (AI142764) is part of the institute's collaborative Center of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) program established in 2014 to advance development of medical countermeasures, including vaccines and immunotherapeutics, against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Crowe and his team currently are participating in another CETR grant led by Geisbert to advance the treatments of deadly hemorrhagic fever viral infections caused by Ebola and Marburg viruses.

He also is principal investigator of a cooperative agreement between VUMC and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced last year to develop methods for preventing the global spread of viruses like chikungunya and Zika. The five-year agreement is worth up to $28 million.

Crowe is the Ann Scott Carell Professor in departments of Pediatrics and of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

He and his colleagues have isolated human monoclonal antibodies for many pathogenic viruses and pioneered the rational design of neutralizing antibody treatments and vaccines, some of which have progressed to clinical trials.

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

AMA Issues Checklist for the Transition to E/M Office Visit Changes

The American Medical Association (AMA) is helping physician practices integrate fundamental changes to the coding and documentation of evaluation and management (E/M) office visit services that account for nearly $23 billion in Medicare spending.

Read More

AHA's Maryjane Wurth To Retire In 2020; Michelle Hood To Join The Association

Maryjane Wurth, the American Hospital Association's (AHA) executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO), will retire next year after a long and distinguished career in the hospital association field.

Read More

Tennessee Sees Fewer Infant Deaths In 2018

Infant Mortality Data Dashboard Now Available

Read More

Amedisys Expanding Commitment to End-of-Life Care for Veterans

Third Largest Hospice Provider Cared for 5,540 Dying Veterans Last Year

Read More

AMA Applauds Relief from Documentation Burden in New Medicare Rule

Many physicians will have reduced documentation beginning in 2021

Read More

Oncology Innovation in Nashville

From personalized medicine to innovation in GI care, Middle Tennessee oncology leaders share promising news.

Read More

Critical Insights into Nashville Health

For the first time in nearly two decades, Nashville has a countywide assessment providing insights into the health and well-being of the community.

Read More

Physician Spotlight: Leading with Compassion

Hospice care is so much more than simply pain management. Compassus CMO Dr. Kurt Merkelz focuses on helping patients live fully until the end.

Read More

The Oncology Care Model Value Proposition

The American Journal of Managed Care® hosts meetings across the country to help oncology practices understand and navigate the value-based care landscape at the intersection of quality and efficiency.

Read More

Tennessee Falling Short on Cancer-Fighting Public Policies

A 2019 ACS CAN report shows the state is falling short on public policies to fight cancer.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
Health Disparities, Hendra, Infectious Disease, James Crowe Jr., Nipah, Population Health, Social Determinants of Health, Vaccines, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, VUMC
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: