PlantVax Corporation

Rockville, MD, United States

PlantVax Corporation

Rockville, MD, United States
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Rosenberg Y.J.,PlantVax Corporation | Montefiori D.C.,Duke University | LaBranche C.C.,Duke University | Lewis M.G.,BIOQUAL Inc. | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Intravascular delivery of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) has shown promise for prevention and treatment of HIV infection. However, multiple IV administrations in geographic locations with poor accessibility to medical care have practical limitations. We have assessed the efficacy of plant-derived PGT121 delivered subcutaneously (SC) against pre- and post-intravaginal challenge using a rigorous SHIV-SF162P3 macaque protection model. SC administered PGT121 exhibited a longer serum half-life than IV administration and was more consistent than intramuscular delivery. A dose of 3.5mg/kg PGT121 prevented infection at a minimum ID50 neutralization titer of 1:295 while 5mg/kg protected five of six macaques when delivered immediately post-challenge. These results suggest the utility of plant-derived bnAbs delivered SC for HIV prevention. © 2016 Rosenberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Rosenberg Y.,PlantVax Corporation | Sack M.,Aachen University | Montefiori D.,Duke University | Forthal D.,University of California at Irvine | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Passive immunotherapy using anti-HIV broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has shown promise as an HIV treatment, reducing mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) in non-human primates and decreasing viral rebound in patients who ceased receiving anti-viral drugs. In addition, a cocktail of potent mAbs may be useful as mucosal microbicides and provide an effective therapy for post-exposure prophylaxis. However, even highly neutralizing HIV mAbs used today may lose their effectiveness if resistance occurs, requiring the rapid production of new or engineered mAbs on an ongoing basis in order to counteract the viral resistance or the spread of a certain HIV-1 clade in a particular region or patient. Plant-based expression systems are fast, inexpensive and scalable and are becoming increasingly popular for the production of proteins and monoclonal antibodies. In the present study, Agrobacterium-mediated transient transfection of plants, utilizing two species of Nicotiana, have been tested to rapidly produce high levels of an HIV 89.6PΔ140env and several well-studied anti-HIV neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (b12, 2G12, 2F5, 4E10, m43, VRC01) or a single chain antibody construct (m9), for evaluation in cell-based viral inhibition assays. The protein-A purified plant-derived antibodies were intact, efficiently bound HIV envelope, and were equivalent to, or in one case better than, their counterparts produced in mammalian CHO or HEK-293 cells in both neutralization and antibody dependent viral inhibition assays. These data indicate that transient plant-based transient expression systems are very adaptable and could rapidly generate high levels of newly identified functional recombinant HIV neutralizing antibodies when required. In addition, they warrant detailed cost-benefit analysis of prolonged incubation in plants to further increase mAb production. © 2013 Rosenberg et al.


PubMed | Aachen University, Duke University, PlantVax Corporation and BIOQUAL Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The identification of highly potent broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) against HIV-1, and success in preventing SHIV infection following their passive administration, have increased the likelihood that immunotherapeutic strategies can be adopted to prevent and treat HIV-1 infection. However, while broad and potent neutralizing activity is an essential prerequisite, in vivo properties such as good circulatory stability and non-immunogenicity are equally critical for developing a human treatment. In the present study, glycoforms of the bnAbs 10-1074, NIH45-46G54W, 10E8, PGT121, PGT128, PGT145, PGT135, PG9, PG16, VRC01 and b12 were produced by Agrobacterium-mediated transient transfection of Nicotiana benthamiana and assessed following administration in rhesus macaques. The results indicate that (i) N-glycans within the VL domain impair plasma stability of plant-derived bnAbs and (ii) while PGT121 and b12 exhibit no immunogenicity in rhesus macaques after multiple injections, VRC01, 10-1074 and NIH45-46G54W elicit high titer anti-idiotypic antibodies following a second injection. These anti-idiotypic antibodies specifically bind the administered bnAb or a close family member, and inhibit the bnAb in neutralization assays. These findings suggest that specific mutations in certain bnAbs contribute to their immunogenicity and call attention to the prospect that these mutated bnAbs will be immunogenic in humans, potentially compromising their value for prophylaxis and therapy of HIV-1.

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