Although the utility of human antibodies as medical therapeutics for cancer and immune diseases has been well-established, it is only beginning to be realized for the treatment of viral infectious diseases. Polyclonal immunoglobulins have long been used for some viral diseases, but they have limited potency and disease scope. It should theoretically be possible to create monoclonal or oligoclonal antibody preparations that capture the essential curative functions of the humoral immune response to viral pathogens, yet only a single humanized monoclonal antibody (pavilizumab) has been approved as a viral countermeasure. Reliable technologies for creating human or humanized antibodies with defined viral antigen specificities are well-established. Accordingly, current antibody development efforts are focused on identifying and cloning the particular antibodies that contain the fundamental curative potency of the polyclonal humoral immune response.

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