Potent in vitro activity of the albumin fusion type 1 interferons (albumin-interferon-alpha and albumin-interferon-beta) against RNA viral agents of bioterrorism and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus

G Mani Subramanian, Paul A Moore, Brian B Gowen, Aaron L Olsen, Dale L Barnard, Jason Paragas, Robert J Hogan, Robert W Sidwell
Chemotherapy 2008, 54 (3): 176-80

BACKGROUND: The type 1 interferons (INF-alpha and INF-beta) are potent antiviral agents. Albumin-INF-alpha and albumin-INF-beta are novel recombinant proteins consisting of IFN-alpha or IFN-beta genetically fused to human albumin.

METHODS: The in vitro antiviral activity of albumin-IFN-alpha was evaluated against representative bioterrorism viral agents and the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus. Antiviral activity was assessed using inhibition of cytopathic effect and neutral red staining.

RESULTS: EC(50) values for albumin-IFN-alpha ranged from <0.1 ng/ml for Punta Toro virus to 65 ng/ml for Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus in the neutral red assay. Albumin-IFN-beta showed 75- and 360-fold greater in vitro activity than albumin-IFN-alpha against Ebola virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Further evaluation of these long-acting albumin-IFN fusion proteins as prophylactic or therapeutic agents against these viral agents of bioterrorism in relevant primate models is warranted.

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