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Pincus S.H.,Childrens Hospital and Health science Center | Smallshaw J.E.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | Song K.,Childrens Hospital | Berry J.,Cangene Corporation | Vitetta E.S.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Toxins | Year: 2011

Ricin toxin (RT) is derived from castor beans, produced by the plant Ricinus communis. RT and its toxic A chain (RTA) have been used therapeutically to arm ligands that target disease-causing cells. In most cases these ligands are cell-binding monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). These ligand-toxin conjugates or immunotoxins (ITs) have shown success in clinical trials [1]. Ricin is also of concern in biodefense and has been classified by the CDC as a Class B biothreat. Virtually all reports of RT poisoning have been due to ingestion of castor beans, since they grow abundantly throughout the world and are readily available. RT is easily purified and stable, and is not difficult to weaponize. RT must be considered during any "white powder" incident and there have been documented cases of its use in espionage [2,3]. The clinical syndrome resulting from ricin intoxication is dependent upon the route of exposure. Countermeasures to prevent ricin poisoning are being developed and their use will depend upon whether military or civilian populations are at risk of exposure. In this review we will discuss ricin toxin, its cellular mode of action, the clinical syndromes that occur following exposure and the development of pre- and post-exposure approaches to prevent of intoxication. © 2011 by the authors; Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Berry J.D.,Cangene Corporation | Gaudet R.G.,Kings College
New Biotechnology | Year: 2011

Antibody preparations have a long history of providing protection from infectious diseases. Although antibodies remain the only natural host-derived defense mechanism capable of completely preventing infection, as products, they compete against inexpensive therapeutics such as antibiotics, small molecule inhibitors and active vaccines. The continued discovery in the monoclonal antibody (mAb) field of leads with broadened cross neutralization of viruses and demonstrable synergy of antibody with antibiotics for bacterial diseases, clearly show that innovation remains. The commercial success of mAbs in chronic disease has not been paralleled in infectious diseases for several reasons. Infectious disease immunotherapeutics are limited in scope as endemic diseases necessitate active vaccine development. Also, the complexity of these small markets draws the interest of niche companies rather than big pharmaceutical corporations. Lastly, the cost of goods for mAb therapeutics is inherently high for infectious agents due to the need for antibody cocktails, which better mimic polyclonal immunoglobulin preparations and prevent antigenic escape. In cases where vaccine or convalescent populations are available, current polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin preparations (pIgG), with modern and highly efficient purification technology and standardized assays for potency, can make economic sense. Recent innovations to broaden the potency of mAb therapies, while reducing cost of production, are discussed herein. On the basis of centuries of effective use of Ab treatments, and with growing immunocompromised populations, the question is not whether antibodies have a bright future for infectious agents, but rather what formats are cost effective and generate safe and efficacious treatments to satisfy regulatory approval. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Qiu H.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Qiu H.,Cangene Corporation | KuoLee R.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Harris G.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Allergic asthma is a dysregulation of the immune system which leads to the development of Th2 responses to innocuous antigens (allergens). Some infections and microbial components can re-direct the immune response toward the Th1 response, or induce regulatory T cells to suppress the Th2 response, thereby inhibiting the development of allergic asthma. Since Acinetobacter baumannii infection can modulate lung cellular and cytokine responses, we studied the effect of A. baumannii in modulating airway eosinophilia in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were treated with live A. baumannii or phosphate buffered saline (PBS), then intranasally challenged with OVA. Compared to PBS, A. baumannii treatment significantly reduced pulmonary Th2 cytokine and chemokine responses to OVA challenge. More importantly, the airway inflammation in A. baumannii-treated mice was strongly suppressed, as seen by the significant reduction of the proportion and the total number of eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In addition, A. baumannii-treated mice diminished lung mucus overproduction and pathology. However, A. baumannii treatment did not significantly alter systemic immune responses to OVA. Serum OVA-specific IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a levels were comparable between A. baumannii- and PBS-treated mice, and tracheobronchial lymph node cells from both treatment groups produced similar levels of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in response to in vitro OVA stimulation. Moreover, it appears that TLR-4 and IFN-γ were not directly involved in the A. baumannii-induced suppression of airway eosinophilia. Our results suggest that A. baumannii inhibits allergic airway inflammation by direct suppression of local pulmonary Th2 cytokine responses to the allergen. © 2011 Qiu et al. Source

The invention relates to commercially viable methods for producing biologically active vitamin K dependent proteins, particularly Factor IX. Factor IX is produced at a level of at least about 15 mg/L and is at least 25% biologically active. The method relies upon co-expression of one or more of paired basic amino acid converting enzyme (PACE), vitamin K dependent epoxide reductase (VKOR) and vitamin K dependent -glutamyl carboxylase (VKGC) at a preferred ratio so that the vitamin K dependent protein is efficiently produced and processed by a recombinant cell.

Bowler L.L.,Cangene Corporation | Bowler L.L.,University of Manitoba | Zhanel G.G.,University of Manitoba | Ball T.B.,University of Manitoba | And 3 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2012

Phenotypic tolerances to antibiotics of mature and young Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 biofilms and released planktonic bacteria were compared for four antibiotics. Resistance levels were similar for gentamicin and ciprofloxacin but differed for ceftazidime and meropenem. β-Lactamase mapping showed that, after 5 h of ceftazidime exposure, mature biofilms produced more β-lactamase than young biofilms, facilitating the growth of released planktonic bacteria. This shows the importance of early treatment and choice of antibiotics for P. aeruginosa biofilm infections. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

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