Kymab and the Wellcome Trust initiate Ebola project

Drug discovery partnership to produce an antibody based medicine to fight Ebola infection

The UK consortium aims to develop new treatments to fight Ebola

UK monoclonal antibody company Kymab will lead a consortium that aims to develop new treatments to fight Ebola.

The firm has been awarded a grant by the Wellcome Trust to lead a consortium which includes the University of Westminster, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Public Health England’s Porton Down.

It is hoped that the group will rapidly discover and develop therapeutic antibodies using Kymab's human antibody discovery platform, Kymouse. The goal is to discover antibodies that act against different strains of the Ebola virus.

Professor Allan Bradley, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Kymab, said: 'Kymab has assembled a consortium of leading academics and biotechnology professionals that are well matched to the challenge of quickly discovering and mass-producing antibody-based drugs to treat this dangerous infection.

'We set ourselves an ambitious goal to discover broadly neutralising antibodies against the Ebola virus and through our genetic understanding of how the Ebola virus can quickly drift and mutate, we aim to make a medicine that could potentially treat future outbreaks.'

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, added: 'The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented and requires a variety of public health interventions to bring it under control, a crucial part of which are new drugs and treatments. The crisis has shown that we need to be better prepared for future epidemics, and the Wellcome Trust is delighted to be part of this collaborative effort to develop drugs that might treat both current and emerging strains of the virus, using an approach that may also apply to other emerging infections.'

Companies