Monoclonal antibody (mAb) technology is among the most successful and versatile therapeutic platforms ever developed by the pharmaceutical industry. Since the first mAb approval in 1986, dozens are used today as primary treatments across a wide range of diseases, primarily for cancer and immune disorders.
While mAbs have been successfully applied in many therapeutic areas, they have yet to be fully leveraged for acute bacterial and viral infections, where they hold the potential to address critical unmet medical needs. Antibodies have proven effective for the prevention of serious infections dating back to the efforts of Emil von Behring (Recipient of the 1901 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine) with diphtheria and tetanus antitoxin. Palivizumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), has been used for almost 20 years to prevent serious respiratory disease in neonates. More recently, several mAbs have been approved for treatment and/or prevention of anthrax (raxibacumab, obiltoxaximab) and recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (bezlotoxumab).
Advances in our knowledge of bacterial pathogenesis have now opened new possibilities of expanding the use of mAbs to acute bacterial infections.
Our current monoclonal antibody programs address specific bacterial and viral pathogens. Our Phase 2 program, ASN100, selectively targets Staphylococcus aureus virulence rather than directly killing the bacteria, potentially allowing Arsanis to combat critical infections without contributing to antibiotic resistance or damaging the patient’s microbiome.