An overview of investigational toxin-directed therapies for the adjunctive management of Bacillus anthracis infection and sepsis

Lernik Ohanjanian, Kenneth E. Remy, Yan Li, Xizhong Cui, Peter Q. Eichacker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Sepsis with Bacillus anthracis infection has a very high mortality rate despite appropriate antibiotic and supportive therapies. Over the past 15 years, recent outbreaks in the US and in Europe, coupled with anthrax's bioterrorism weapon potential, have stimulated efforts to develop adjunctive therapies to improve clinical outcomes. Since lethal toxin and edema toxin (LT and ET) make central contributions to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, these have been major targets in this effort. Areas covered: Here, the authors review different investigative biopharmaceuticals that have been recently identified for their therapeutic potential as inhibitors of LT or ET. Among these inhibitors are two antibody preparations that have been included in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and several more that have reached Phase I testing. Presently, however, many of these candidate agents have only been studied in vitro and very few tested in bacteria-challenged models. Expert opinion: Although a large number of drugs have been identified as potential therapeutic inhibitors of LT and ET, in most cases their testing has been limited. The use of the two SNS antibody therapies during a large-scale exposure to B. anthracis will be difficult. Further testing and development of agents with oral bioavailability and relatively long shelf lives should be a focus for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-865
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anthrax
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Lethal and edema toxins
  • Toxin-directed agents
  • Treatment

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