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Virology. 2004 Jan 5;318(1):134-41.

In vivo neutralization of hepatitis B virus infection by an anti-preS1 humanized antibody in chimpanzees.

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Antibody Engineering Research Unit, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Taejon 305-600, South Korea.


Previously, we generated a murine monoclonal antibody (mAb), KR127, that recognizes amino acids (aa) 37-45 of the preS1 of hepatitis B virus (HBV). In this study, we have constructed a humanized version of KR127 and evaluated its HBV-neutralizing activity in chimpanzees. A study chimpanzee was given a single intravenous dose of the humanized antibody, followed by intravenous challenge with adr subtype of wild type HBV, while a control chimpanzee was only challenged with the virus. The result showed that the study chimpanzee did not develop HBV infection during 1 year, while the control chimpanzee was infected, indicating that the humanized antibody exhibited in vivo virus-neutralizing activity and thus protected the chimpanzee from HBV infection. In addition, the humanized antibody bound to the preS1 of all subtypes of HBV. We first demonstrate that an anti-preS1 mAb can neutralize HBV infection in vivo. This humanized antibody will be useful for the immunoprophylaxis of HBV infection.

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