LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - July 07, 2011) -
Leiden, The Netherlands (July 7, 2011) - Dutch biopharmaceutical company
N.V. and The Scripps Research Institute today published an article
world's leading journal of original scientific research Science
Crucell's novel anti-influenza antibody CR8020 and how it neutralizes
influenza A viruses. Attempts to isolate broadly neutralizing antibodies
group 2 viruses have not been previously described. The broad
ability of the CR8020 makes it a potentially groundbreaking therapy
seasonal and pandemic flu.
"Influenza is an elusive enemy" said Jaap Goudsmit, Chief Scientific
Crucell. "The need for innovative approaches to the control of
influenza is highlighted by its death toll - estimated at 500,000
Having successfully discovered these antibodies, Crucell is
develop an antibody therapy for flu."
In February 2009, Crucell and The Scripps Research Institute published a
in Science, reporting the discovery of a panel of human monoclonal
showing neutralizing activity against almost all influenza A group 1
The most potent of these antibodies, called CR6261, prevents or cures
in animal tests, to deadly levels of the H5N1 and H1N1 viruses.
In this new study, Crucell reports that, by recognizing a novel
epitope in the hemagglutinin stem, the antibody CR8020 shows broad
activity against most influenza A group 2 viruses, including the H3N2 and
viruses, which cause severe human infection.
Crucell believes that a combination of these two antibodies may be
neutralize most influenza A subtypes and, with that, enable the development
universal flu vaccine and a broad spectrum of antibody therapies.
Attempts to isolate broadly neutralizing antibodies against group 2 viruses
not been previously described. Antibodies, such as CR6261 and
protect against essentially all influenza A viruses and would have
benefits for high-risk groups, such as the elderly and
for severe, life-threatening influenza infections.
Influenza and related medical complications result in an estimated
500,000 annual deaths worldwide. Every year more than 200,000 people
United States are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000
die from flu.
Currently, two main countermeasures are used against flu. Antivirals have
widely used and proven to be quite effective. However, resistance to
antivirals has reduced their effectiveness and mutations are widespread.
Vaccination is the other countermeasure. Each year circulating
influenza virus subtypes, currently H1 and H3, change the composition
viral surface protein known as hemagglutinin by mutation. Consequently,
has had a vaccination against influenza this year, the antibodies
the immune system will most likely not protect against next years' flu.
antibody was able to recognize an invariable structure in the
protein, such an antibody could be applied for the prevention and
influenza caused by a wide variety of flu strains.
The unique property of the Crucell antibodies appears to be related
mechanism of action. The paper published in Science entitled "A Highly
Neutralizing Epitope on Group 2 Influenza A Viruses" shows the
characterization of a human monoclonal antibody CR8020 with broad
activity against most group 2 viruses, including H3N2 and H7N7,
sporadically cross from birds into humans and have the potential to develop
a future pandemic.
"Influenza A viruses responsible for human pandemics have arisen from both
1 and group 2 viruses." says Dr Robert Friesen, Crucell's Vice
Preclinical and Clinical Research. "Therefore these results are a
discovery for the potential development of an effective therapy
prevention against, seasonal and pandemic influenza".
The results of this study will be presented by Dr Robert Friesen at the
Annual European Antibody Congress taking place from November 29(th)
December 1(st) in Geneva, Switzerland.
For both studies, Crucell collaborated with the Scripps Research
California, USA, which is a world leader in this type of molecular-
research, the department of microbiology of the Univeristy of Hong Kong in
Kong, and the Central Veterinary Institute of the University of
Lelystad, The Netherlands.
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes
Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No.
 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Article reference: A Highly Conserved Neutralizing Epitope on Group 2
A Viruses. Authors: Damian C. Ekiert,(1#) Robert H. E. Friesen,(2#) Gira
Bhabha,(1) Ted Kwaks,(2) Mandy Jongeneelen,(2) Wenli Yu,(1) Carla
Freek Cox,(2) Hans J.W.M. Korse,(2) Boerries Brandenburg,(2) Ronald
Just P.J. Brakenhoff,(2) Ronald Kompier,(2) Martin H. Koldijk,(2) Lisette
Cornelissen,(3) Leo L. M. Poon,(4) Malik Peiris,(4) Wouter Koudstaal,(2*)
Wilson,(1,5) and Jaap Goudsmit(2)
(1) Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550
Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; (2) Crucell Holland BV,
Archimedesweg 4-6, 2301 CA Leiden, The Netherlands; (3) Central Veterinary
Institute, Wageningen University, Lelystad, the Netherlands; (4) Department
Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China; (5) The Skaggs
Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North
Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. # These authors contributed
to this work.
Crucell N.V. is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on research
development, production and marketing of vaccines, proteins and antibodies
prevent and/or treat infectious diseases. In 2010 alone, Crucell
more than 105 million vaccine doses in more than 100 countries around the
Crucell is one of the major suppliers of vaccines to UNICEF and the
world. Crucell was the first manufacturer to launch a fully-liquid
vaccine. Called Quinvaxem(®), this innovative combination vaccine
against five important childhood diseases. Over 200 million doses have been
since its launch in 2006 in more than 50 GAVI countries. With this
Crucell has become a major partner in protecting children in developing
countries. Other products in Crucell's core portfolio include a vaccine
hepatitis B and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell
markets travel vaccines, such as an oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral
vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market.
has a broad development pipeline, with several product candidates based on
unique PER.C6(®) production technology. Crucell licenses its
technology and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry.
partners and licensees include DSM Biologics, sanofi-aventis, Novartis,
Pfizer/Wyeth, GSK, CSL and Merck & Co. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden,
Netherlands, with offices in China, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia,
Sweden, Switzerland, UK, the USA and Vietnam. Crucell employs over 1300
Johnson & Johnson completed the tender offer for Crucell N.V. (Crucell) on
22(nd) February 2011 and declared the offer unconditional. As a result,
will now operate as the center for vaccines within the Johnson & Johnson
For more information, please visit www.crucell.com.
(This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are
current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove
inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results
vary materially from the expectations and projections of Crucell N.V.
Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited
general industry conditions and competition; economic factors, such as
rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and
attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development,
including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care
reforms and governmental laws and regulations; trends toward health care
containment; and increased scrutiny of the healthcare industry by
agencies. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and
other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson's Annual
Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2011. Copies of this Form
as well as subsequent filings, are available online atwww.sec.gov,
or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither Crucell N.V. nor Johnson &
Johnson undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of
information or future events or developments.)
PDF file: http://hugin.info/132631/R/1529318/464846.pdf
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Source: Crucell N.V. via Thomson Reuters ONE