MPE8, a unique human monoclonal antibody, is the first neutralizing antibody that targets four different human and animal viruses, in particular the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the metapneumovirus (MPV), [removed]according to researchers[/removed]. Researchers believe the finding could prevent and treat severe lower respiratory tract infections.

Investigators identified several antibodies that neutralized either RSV or MPV, but MPE8 was the only one that potently neutralized both viruses. The antibody was also found to be active against bovine RSV and pneumonia virus of mice. After testing MPE8 in a relevant animal model, it was found to possess not only not only prophylactic, but also therapeutic activity in a situation where ribavirin is ineffective.

According to researchers, the MPE8 antibody binds to the viral fusion protein in a site that is conserved among different viruses and represents a kind of “Achilles’ heel” for these viruses.

The discovery was made by the Swiss Biotech company Humabs BioMed in collaboration with the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) which is affiliated to the Universita della Svizzera Italiana (USI).