A monoclonal antibody therapeutic drug, a novel approach to treating patients with influenza, will advance in development with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

No monoclonal antibody antiviral drugs to treat patients with influenza have been approved by the US FDA. Monoclonal antibodies bind to specific parts of the virus, neutralizing the virus and decreasing the amount of virus in the body.

The drug VIS410 is being developed by Visterra Inc of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and targets a part of the influenza virus that is common to a wide range of flu strains. The target area evolves much more slowly than areas targeted by currently approved drugs, which could allow VIS410 to be effective against flu strains that become resistant to current antiviral drugs.

Read more at www.hhs.gov