Prevention of Anthrax Infection with Anthrax Antibody Fragments

Background Current treatments for persons exposed to anthrax spores rely heavily on antibiotics to prevent the growth and ensuing toxicity of the anthrax bacteria; however, these treatments could be compromised through genetic engineering or the natural evolution of anthrax. There is a pressing need for a more robust method for preventing anthrax infection in those exposed to anthrax spores.

Invention Description High affinity binding antibodies to the anthrax Protective Antigen have been shown to be effective in preventing anthrax infection in animals exposed to the spores. Production of complete antibodies, however, requires mammalian cell culture because of their size and complexity. Utilizing just the binding domain of the anti-anthrax antibody allows for cost effective production in E. coli bacteria.


Higher binding affinity to anthrax Protective Antigen than previously engineered antibodies Small protein size allows for low-cost bacterial production


Contains only the binding site of antibody Binds with high affinity to anthrax Protective Antigen Prevents infection in animals exposed to anthrax spores

Market Potential/Applications This technology allows for many different bioterror threat applications in addition to the stated application for the prevention of anthrax infection. In 2003, the demand for bioterrorism defense products and services was estimated to be $4.8 billion with 75% of the market accounted for by the Department of Health and Human Services. Demand for bioterrorism equipment and services is forecasted to grow 16% annually, reaching $10 billion by 2008.

UT Researcher George Georgiou, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Brent L. Iverson, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin George Robert Mabry III, Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin

Type of Offer: Licensing

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