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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1996 Jul;16(7):489-99.

The biologic activity and molecular characterization of a novel synthetic interferon-alpha species, consensus interferon.

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Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA 91230, USA.


Consensus interferon (Infergen) is a wholly synthetic type I interferon (IFN), developed by scanning several interferon-alpha nonallelic subtypes and assigning the most frequently observed amino acid in each position, resulting in a consensus sequence. The antiviral, antiproliferative, NK cell activation activity, cytokine induction, and interferon-stimulated gene-induction activity of consensus interferon has been compared with naturally occurring type I interferons. In all of these comparisons, consensus interferon had a higher activity when compared, on a mass basis, with IFN-alpha 2a and IFN-alpha 2b, although the activity was the same for all of these parameters on an antiviral unit basis. That a synthetic type I interferon could have higher activities than naturally occurring molecules is surprising and may be a result of the higher affinity for the array of type I interferon receptors demonstrated for consensus interferon when compared with IFN-alpha. In contrast, consensus interferon was shown to be an inferior inducer of IL-1 beta when compared with IFN-alpha. These results may reflect differential binding to multiple accessory proteins interacting with a type I interferon receptor. These unique biologic properties may lead to a favorable clinical benefit for consensus interferon when compared with the naturally occurring recombinant molecules. Ongoing clinical trials will ascertain whether consensus interferon can be used in a wide array of disease situations, such as chronic viral infections and certain malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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