WBZ-TV: UMMS researchers developing preventive treatment for Lyme disease

By Sarah Willey

UMass Medical School Communications

May 16, 2017
  Mark Klempner, MD, executive vice chancellor for MassBiologics

With experts warning that this could be the worst tick season in years, a health segment by WBZ-TV’s Dr. Mallika Marshall highlighted promising research under way at MassBiologics of UMass Medical School to develop a tool to prevent Lyme disease.

The report provided details about Lyme PReP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, and included an interview with Mark Klempner, MD, executive vice chancellor for MassBiologics and professor of medicine, who explained how PReP is much different than a vaccine. Dr. Klempner and his team have identified a specific human monoclonal antibody that would defend against Lyme disease infection of a person bitten by an infected tick. Klempner told Marshall he thinks “this is a really safe approach,” given the results in the lab.

“In mice, it is incredibly effective, 100 percent effective,” explained Klempner. He also discussed how it would be administered. “We would intend to give this at the early part of . . . Lyme disease season. The trick is to be able to make the antibody last long enough after a single injection that will cover the entire risk period of about six or seven months,” Klempner said.

Human trials on Lyme PReP could start as early as next spring.

Watch the full story here: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/05/12/lyme-disease-prevention-treatment-umass-medical/

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Klempner explains Lyme disease risk in Boston Magazine
MassBiologics at UMMS developing pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease
WGBH-TV’s Greater Boston: Klempner discusses promising research into a seasonal prevention for Lyme

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