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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Anti-Botulism Monoclonal Antibodies as Tools to Identify Small Molecule Toxin Inhibitors

Location: Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research

Project Number: 2030-42000-048-11-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

The objective of this cooperative research project is to use anti-botulism monoclonal antibodies to modulate circulating toxin levels in order to identify small molecules capable of inhibiting neurotoxin activity in vivo. Initial efforts will focus on identification of small molecules suitable for inhibiting toxin serotype A.

The USDA has a general interest in detection and prevention of foodborne botulism. The USDA ARS Foodborne Contaminants Research Unit, located in Albany, California, has developed a series of high-affinity monoclonal antibodies to botulinum neurotoxin and these have been formatted into sensitive immunoassays for detecting botulism in foods. Furthermore, many of these antibodies are capable of neutralizing toxin and rescuing animals after exposure. Hawii Biotech is a private company focused on addressing the urgent need for new drugs to combat emerging infectious diseases and potential biowarfare agents. Hawaii Biotech’s proprietary technologies and its expertise in structure-based drug design, medicinal chemistry and high throughput virtual screening will result in the development and delivery of safe, effective drugs against life-threatening diseases. Hawaii Biotech is developing an effective drug for the treatment of botulism. This project combines the resources and efforts of Hawaii Biotech with those of ARS to produce synergistic results and further our understanding of botulinum neurotoxin. Hawaii Biotech will utilize the USDA monoclonal antibodies as aids in identifying small molecule therapeutic drugs that can be used to treat botulism.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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