Antibody shield protects against pollen allergy and rhinovirus infection
The fact that allergic inflammation and rhinovirus infection act synergistically in triggering airway inflammation gathered authors´ interest to develop a treatment that is effective for allergic as well as rhinovirus-induced rhinitis and asthma. Within their joint project they elaborate an innovative and efficient approach to catch pollen allergens at the nasal mucosa and hence stop allergen penetration into the body. Their concept was based on bispecific antibody conjugates capable to simultaneously bind to pollen allergens present in the air and to the transmembrane glycoprotein intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), highly expressed on the respiratory epithelium of allergic patients. Since ICAM-1 is a major receptor for rhinovirus, bispecific antibody conjugates additionally protect against rhinovirus infection due to their receptor blocking capacity. Next, in vivo testing is envisaged to confirm the clinical efficacy of bispecific antibody conjugates for protection against allergic and viral airway diseases.
This research was funded by grants F4607, I3946-B33, F4613 and P29398 of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and by the Country of Lower Austria’s funded Danube Allergy research cluster (P09 and P13).