In 1970, the zambian nun Mary Jucunda wrote a letter to Ernst Stuhlinger, who worked for NASA. “There are still so many children on the planet who don’t have enough to eat,” said sister Mary Jucunda. “why is NASA investing billions of dollars in space programs?” . Mary Jucunda didn’t know at the time that space exploration was actually a catalyst for technological progress, providing a great opportunity for academic research. With it, there have been numerous exciting research projects in the scientific community, and new technologies have been springing up for it.
The same is true of HIV vaccine research.
Thirty years have passed, we still didn’t find any effective AIDS vaccine, it is hard to predict the future and how much money, energy and time to develop truly effective vaccine. But on the other hand, the research on AIDS vaccines has actually pushed forward basic research. Then the duke university institute of human vaccines (DHVI) research long Gideon to accept a new “why AIDS vaccine research don’t come out” challenge, and the gates foundation and the NIH huge funding, invented the HitmAb ® technology, can set up a “person” from a single B lymphocytes and plasma cells efficiently find antibody technology platform, which made it possible to develop natural all anthropogenic antibody drug.
Dedicated to scientific research
Gideon new 1977 clinical medical professional, graduated from Shanghai medical university after graduation was assigned to virology research institute, Chinese academy of preventive medicine and participate in the virology of the virus at the two-year special course, study virology theory knowledge.
The virus had two difficult subjects at the time, one was the separation of hepatitis virus, and the other was about the epidemic hemorrhagic fever virus. After the end of the virus program, liao chose to study the epidemic hemorrhagic fever virus and began to try to isolate the virus.
Although the limited experimental conditions, the researchers infected by the virus risk is very high also, but at the time of Gideon new with one cavity warm blood of medicine, fearless difficulties and obstacles and finally under the joint efforts of the team members, successfully obtained the epidemic hemorrhagic fever virus.
The successful separation of virus is not only important for the basic research of epidemic hemorrhagic fever, but also lays a foundation for the development of vaccine. After the successful separation of the virus, liao also took part in the development of an inactivated vaccine for epidemic hemorrhagic fever, which is still being used in China. Whether it is the basic research of epidemic hemorrhagic fever or the field of disease prevention, the new work of liao hua is of great significance.
In 1985, he was given a chance to study at chapel hill, north Carolina. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from north Carolina in 1991 and conducted his post-doctoral research in molecular immunology at duke university. Since 1994, he has been working at duke university for HIV/ AIDS research.
AIDS is a very special disease. In the past few decades, the treatment of AIDS has made great progress, but during this period, the development of AIDS vaccine has undergone a very tortuous process. Unlike other types of infectious diseases, such as smallpox or chicken pox, hiv-infected people cannot rely on their own immune systems to completely eradicate the virus after infection. The mutation rate of HIV is very high, and it is this high mutation rate that makes the development of vaccines extremely difficult. And there are many subtypes of HIV, and there is a big difference between subtypes, which means that a single vaccine may be effective only for one virus, but not for other subtypes. Therefore, it is the key to the development of HIV vaccine to induce the body to produce broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies capable of neutralizing various types of viruses.
But after more than 30 years of developing an AIDS vaccine, it is clear that there is still a lot of groundwork to be done to produce a vaccine that induces a broad spectrum of neutralizing antibodies. For example, why is it that only a small number of patients have broad spectrum neutralization? Are these patients’ broad-spectrum neutralization due to the presence of one or a few antibodies in the serum that have broad spectrum neutralization and are the result of many uni-specific antibodies? How are these antibodies produced in “natural” AIDS patients?
Learning from the natural world is an important part of scientific research, and it is very important to understand the above problems in the design and development of vaccines. A key part of this research is the need for a technology that can effectively separate the monoclonal antibodies from the human body.
In 2004, liao became the research director of the institute of human vaccine research at duke university medical center, and he was one of the main research directions in the field. But the separation of the broad spectrum and antibodies was not easy, and it took a long time for the new team to solve the problem.
From the discovery of AIDS in 2009 to more than 20 years of time, the world in the field of HIV researchers found only one of the few broad spectrum neutralizing antibodies, and all of these antibodies are associated with broad spectrum and neutralizing activity is not strong and so on. It was very difficult to isolate the broad spectrum and the antibodies.
In fact, the main problem is that the traditional single anti-separation efficiency is very low, and the proportion of B cells that produce broad spectrum neutralizing antibodies is very small, and the separation is difficult. Although there were also techniques for isolating antibodies against monoclonal antibodies, the recent outbreak in the field was based on rapid advances in the isolation of single B cell antibodies.
In 2009, liao’s new team published the first article on a single B cell clone technology platform. With the continuous improvement of the technology platform, it has been proved that this technology can not only effectively isolate the HIV broad-spectrum neutralizing antibody, but also a very efficient research and development platform for antibodies. By 2016, liao’s new team has published more than 60 articles based on the platform, with a quarter of them published in the top journals such as Nature, Science, Cell and its children.
Although single resistance to drugs to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases has made breakthrough progress, although antibody in the body immune response against infection can play a key role, but so far applied to single resistance in the field of infectious diseases is still only a handful of several, such as to prevent palivizumab infant respiratory syncytial virus infection.
But the use of antibodies to treat infectious diseases has a long history. As early as 1901, Emil Adolf von Behring won the Nobel Prize for his use of animal-derived serum to treat diphtheria. Since then, antibody therapy has been used to treat other types of infectious diseases, such as the 1918 Spanish flu and the ebola virus found in 1976.
Gideon natural whole new team anthropogenic monoclonal antibody technology platform’s original intention is the basis for AIDS vaccine research, in fact the technology platform in influenza, malaria, tuberculosis, other deadly infectious diseases such as cancer and even in autoimmune disease research and antibody drug development also has a good application prospect. Perhaps in 2011, liao changed the idea of transforming basic scientific research results.
Get to know each other in north Carolina
In 2014, the first session of Beijing – Chinese biomedical entrepreneurs BBS held in San Francisco, California, as the Chinese peasants’ and workers’ Democratic Party central medical work committee Zheng Weihong attending and met the people that can change the course of his career.
Zheng Weihong in the medical field has nearly 20 years of industry experience, working in zhejiang medicine, zhengda pharmaceutical, out of medical representative do general manager after startup, pharmaceutical agents, generic drugs development, create a factory of experimental animals and focus on the eye disease intelligence screening, inc., etc. Zheng has a dream to be a new drug that can create clinical value. Twenty years of industry experience tell him that real innovation must come from basic science. For a long time, this wish was like a sleeping seed buried deep in his heart, waiting for the coming of the rainy season, rooting and sprouting and breaking out of the soil.
When Zheng Weihong came to the duke university institute of human vaccines (DHVI), for the first time I met Gideon new, after when they communicate each other’s experience, he has been looking for sure who will help him finish the new dream is immediate, and Gideon new also think this is a can help him to achieve basic scientific research achievements.
With that, he resigned from duke university, where he moved his family, and they founded the company, Trimomab, in jinwan, zhuhai. Within 18 months, with the help of the team, tylenol microlab using HitmAb ® technology to create a refreshing and different single Pipeline resistance, including neutralizing antibody against rabies virus antibody of tetanus toxin (TT), human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) antibody, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antibody, herpes zoster virus (VZV) antibody, polyoma virus (HPV) antibody, hepatitis b virus (HBV) antibodies, drug resistance of tuberculosis (TB) antibody, also including NY – ESO, CFH targets of anti-tumor and autoimmune diseases such as antibodies.
In the three weeks before the publication, tylenol’s rabies virus antibody was transferred at a total of 230 million yuan. Meanwhile, in jinwan healthy harbor, a production building designed in accordance with the GMP standard has broken ground. By the end of 2019, several modern, modular anti-drug production facilities will be installed in the building. “This facility will drive tylenol from a biotech company to a biopharmaceuticals company,” he said excitedly.
After the interviews with liao hua and zheng weihong, I took the subway home, and I had to walk through an underground passage on my way home. Next to it was a hospital, 11 o ‘clock in the night, in Beijing, where the families of patients who had fallen asleep in the underground passage had come to the hospital. I often wonder when patients and family members will not be so hard, and when patients will get better treatment.
Perhaps in the heart of LiaoHuaXin and ZhengWeiHong, already have their own answer.