Updated on 26 June 2012
"We knew the antibody exists based on the fact that most patients recover naturally from dengue infection, but the chances of finding it would be like finding a needle in a haystack. We are very encouraged by this breakthrough. This represents the best candidate therapy that currently exists for dengue and thus is likely to be the first step in treating dengue infected patients who currently have no specific medicine or antibiotic to take and may take days to fully recover," said Dr Brendon Hanson, head, Bio-Defence Therapeutics Lab, DMERI@DSO. "Being a completely human antibody, it is likely to have no serious side effects and this makes not only this antibody, but the approach we took to isolate antibodies from recovered patients an attractive one."
Assistant Professor Lok Shee-Mei of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, said, "The journey in finding this antibody that effectively treats dengue virus serotype 1 virus infection has been very fulfilling. Now we will be on our next quest to find other antibodies that treat Dengue serotypes 2, 3 and 4 infection. We hope to combine these antibodies into one concoction in the near future to treat each serotype and improve patient outcomes."
Moving forward the team will be embarking on a clinical trial in the next 12 -16 months and expects a therapy to be available within the next 6 - 8 years. The team hopes to uncover antibodies for the other dengue types within the next two years.