Publications by authors named "Melanie Maudrich"

6 Publications

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Immunization of cats to induce neutralizing antibodies against Fel d 1, the major feline allergen in human subjects.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2019 07 2;144(1):193-203. Epub 2019 May 2.

HypoPet AG, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Immunology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background: Cat allergy in human subjects is usually caused by the major cat allergen Fel d 1 and is found in approximately 10% of the Western population. Currently, there is no efficient and safe therapy for cat allergy available. Allergic patients usually try to avoid cats or treat their allergy symptoms.

Objective: We developed a new strategy to treat Fel d 1-induced allergy in human subjects by immunizing cats against their own major allergen, Fel d 1.

Methods: A conjugate vaccine consisting of recombinant Fel d 1 and a virus-like particle derived from the cucumber mosaic virus containing the tetanus toxin-derived universal T-cell epitope tt830-843 (CuMV) was used to immunize cats. A first tolerability and immunogenicity study, including a boost injection, was conducted by using the Fel-CuMV vaccine alone or in combination with an adjuvant.

Results: The vaccine was well tolerated and had no overt toxic effect. All cats induced a strong and sustained specific IgG antibody response. The induced anti-Fel d 1 antibodies were of high affinity and exhibited a strong neutralization ability tested both in vitro and in vivo. A reduction in the endogenous allergen level and a reduced allergenicity of tear samples, were observed.

Conclusion: Vaccination of cats with Fel-CuMV induces neutralizing antibodies and might result in reduced symptoms of allergic cat owners. Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2019.01.050DOI Listing
July 2019

Incorporation of tetanus-epitope into virus-like particles achieves vaccine responses even in older recipients in models of psoriasis, Alzheimer's and cat allergy.

NPJ Vaccines 2017 23;2:30. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

HealVax GmbH, Bahnhofstrasse, 138808 Pfäffikon Switzerland.

Monoclonal antibodies are widely used to treat non-infectious conditions but are costly. Vaccines could offer a cost-effective alternative but have been limited by sub-optimal T-cell stimulation and/or weak vaccine responses in recipients, for example, in elderly patients. We have previously shown that the repetitive structure of virus-like-particles (VLPs) can effectively bypass self-tolerance in therapeutic vaccines. Their efficacy could be increased even further by the incorporation of an epitope stimulating T cell help. However, the self-assembly and stability of VLPs from envelope monomer proteins is sensitive to geometry, rendering the incorporation of foreign epitopes difficult. We here show that it is possible to engineer VLPs derived from a non human-pathogenic plant virus to incorporate a powerful T-cell-stimulatory epitope derived from Tetanus toxoid. These VLPs (termed CMV) retain self-assembly as well as long-term stability. Since Th cell memory to Tetanus is near universal in humans, CMV-based vaccines can deliver robust antibody-responses even under limiting conditions. By way of proof of concept, we tested a range of such vaccines against chronic inflammatory conditions (model: psoriasis, antigen: interleukin-17), neurodegenerative (Alzheimer's, β-amyloid), and allergic disease (cat allergy, Fel-d1), respectively. Vaccine responses were uniformly strong, selective, efficient , observed even in old mice, and employing low vaccine doses. In addition, randomly ascertained human blood cells were reactive to CMV-VLPs, confirming recognition of the incorporated Tetanus epitope. The CMV-VLP platform is adaptable to almost any antigen and its features and performance are ideally suited for the design of vaccines delivering enhanced responsiveness in aging populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-017-0030-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5653761PMC
October 2017

A new live-cell biobank workflow efficiently recovers heterogeneous melanoma cells from native biopsies.

Exp Dermatol 2015 May;24(5):377-80

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zürich and University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Fibroblast contamination can make establishing primary melanoma cell cultures from native biopsies a major challenge, due to fibroblasts overgrowing the melanoma cells. Standard protocols therefore enrich for highly proliferative melanoma cells that grow well in vitro but may not represent the full range of in vivo tumor heterogeneity. Here we apply conditional methods that more effectively retrieve melanoma cells by differential trypsinization or by inducing fibroblast senescence through contact inhibition, serum starvation or deprivation of adhesion. Simple mixing experiments of melanoma and fibroblast cells demonstrated the efficacy of the new protocols in retrieving slow-growing melanoma cells. Applying our protocols to 20 cultures that had failed to grow by conventional methods, we could retrieve 12 (60%) validated melanoma cell cultures. Further application of the protocols in the live-cell biobank of 124 early passage cultures significantly improved recovery rates from 13% using standard protocols to 70% overall for the new workflow.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/exd.12683DOI Listing
May 2015

Mining the human autoantibody repertoire: isolation of potent IL17A-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies from a patient with thymoma.

MAbs 2014 ;6(6):1608-20

a Valneva Austria GmbH ; Campus Vienna Biocenter 3; Vienna , Austria.

Anti-cytokine autoantibodies have been widely reported to be present in human plasma, both in healthy subjects and in patients with underlying autoimmune conditions, such as autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) or thymic epithelial neoplasms. While often asymptomatic, they can cause or facilitate a wide range of diseases including opportunistic infections. The potential therapeutic value of specific neutralizing anti-cytokine autoantibodies has not been thoroughly investigated. Here we used mammalian cell display to isolate IL17A-specific antibodies from a thymoma patient with proven high-titer autoantibodies against the same. We identified 3 distinct clonotypes that efficiently neutralized IL17A in a cell-based in vitro assay. Their potencies were comparable to those of known neutralizing antibodies, including 2, AIN457 (secukinumab) and ixekizumab that are currently in clinical development for the treatment of various inflammatory disorders. These data clearly demonstrate that the human autoantibody repertoire can be mined for antibodies with high therapeutic potential for clinical development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/mabs.36292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623001PMC
September 2015

Universal vaccine against influenza virus: linking TLR signaling to anti-viral protection.

Eur J Immunol 2012 Apr;42(4):863-9

Cytos Biotechnology AG, Schlieren-Zürich, Switzerland.

A vaccine protecting against all influenza strains is a long-sought goal, particularly for emerging pandemics. As previously shown, vaccines based on the highly conserved extracellular domain of M2 (M2e) may protect against all influenza A strains. Here, we demonstrate that M2e-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) protect mice from a lethal influenza infection. To be protective, antibodies had to be able to bind to Fc receptors and fix complement. Furthermore, mAbs of IgG2c isotype were protective in mice, while antibodies of identical specificity, but of the IgG1 isotype, failed to prevent disease. These findings readily translated into vaccine design. A vaccine targeting M2 in the absence of a toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 ligand primarily induced IgG1, whilst the same vaccine linked to a TLR7 ligand yielded high levels of IgG2c antibodies. Although both vaccines protected mice from a lethal challenge, mice treated with the vaccine containing a TLR7 ligand showed significantly lower morbidity. In accordance with these findings, vaccination of TLR7(-/-) mice with a vaccine containing a TLR7 ligand did not result in protection from a lethal challenge. Hence, the innate immune system is required to direct isotype switching toward the more protective IgG2a/c antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201041225DOI Listing
April 2012

Displaying Fel d1 on virus-like particles prevents reactogenicity despite greatly enhanced immunogenicity: a novel therapy for cat allergy.

J Exp Med 2009 Aug 10;206(9):1941-55. Epub 2009 Aug 10.

Department of Immunodrugs, Cytos Biotechnology AG, 8952 Schlieren-Zürich, Switzerland.

Allergen-specific desensitization is the only disease-modifying therapy currently available for the treatment of allergies. These therapies require application of allergen over several years and some may induce life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. An ideal vaccine for desensitization should be highly immunogenic and should alleviate allergic symptoms upon few injections while being nonreactogenic. We describe such a vaccine for the treatment of cat allergy, consisting of the major cat allergen Fel d1 coupled to bacteriophage Qbeta-derived virus-like particles (Qbeta-Fel d1). Qbeta-Fel d1 was highly immunogenic, and a single vaccination was sufficient to induce protection against type I allergic reactions. Allergen-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies were shown to be the critical effector molecules and alleviated symptoms by two distinct mechanisms. Although allergen-induced systemic basophil degranulation was inhibited in an FcgammaRIIb-dependent manner, inhibition of local mast cell degranulation in tissues occurred independently of FcgammaRIIb. In addition, treatment with Qbeta-Fel d1 abolished IgE memory responses upon antigen recall. Despite high immunogenicity, the vaccine was essentially nonreactogenic and vaccination induced neither local nor systemic anaphylactic reactions in sensitized mice. Moreover, Qbeta-Fel d1 did not induce degranulation of basophils derived from human volunteers with cat allergies. These data suggest that vaccination with Qbeta-Fel d1 may be a safe and effective treatment for cat allergy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20090199DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737174PMC
August 2009