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Widespread drug resistance due to empiric use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has stimulated development of bacteria-specific strategies for prophylaxis and therapy based on modern monoclonal antibody (mAb) technologies. However, single-mechanism mAb approaches have not provided adequate protective activity in the clinic. We constructed multifunctional bispecific antibodies, each conferring three mechanisms of action against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by targeting the serotype-independent type III secretion system (injectisome) virulence factor PcrV and persistence factor Psl exopolysaccharide. A new bispecific antibody platform, BiS4, exhibited superior synergistic protection against P. aeruginosa–induced murine pneumonia compared to parent mAb combinations or other available bispecific antibody structures. BiS4αPa was protective in several mouse infection models against disparate P. aeruginosa strains and unexpectedly further synergized with multiple antibiotic classes even against drug-resistant clinical isolates. In addition to resulting in a multimechanistic clinical candidate (MEDI3902) for the prevention or treatment of P. aeruginosa infections, these antibody studies suggest that multifunctional antibody approaches may be a promising platform for targeting other antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens.
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