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Raxibacumab Improves Anthrax Survival in Animals

Last Updated: July 08, 2009.

The human monoclonal antibody raxibacumab markedly improved survival in rabbits and monkeys with anthrax infection compared to placebo, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The human monoclonal antibody raxibacumab markedly improved survival in rabbits and monkeys with anthrax infection compared to placebo, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Thi-Sau Migone, Ph.D., of Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Md., and colleagues exposed the animals to an aerosol containing 200 times the median lethal dose of Bacillus anthracis, and when signs of infection appeared, administered either raxibacumab at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight, raxibacumab at a dose of 40 mg/kg, or placebo. The end point for rabbits was survival at day 14 and for monkeys was survival at day 28. In a prophylactic study, the drug was administered to groups of animals in various doses before they were infected with 100 times the median lethal dose of B. anthracis.

The researchers found that, among the infected rabbits taking the 40 mg/kg therapeutic dose of raxibacumab, eight of 18 (44 percent) survived, compared to none of the 18 who took placebo; while monkey survival was nine out of 14 (64 percent), compared to none of the 12 with placebo.

"A single dose of raxibacumab improved survival in rabbits and monkeys with symptomatic inhalational anthrax," the authors conclude.

Authors of the study reported financial relationships with medical companies.

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