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Biobran/MGN-3 Increases Innate Resistance and Reduces the Incidence of Influenza-like Illnesses

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04646980
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 30, 2020
Last Update Posted : November 30, 2020
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
University of California, Irvine
Daiwa Pharmaceutical Corporation Co, Ltd, Tokyo 154-0024 Japan
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Ahmed Farouk Elsaid, Zagazig University

Brief Summary:
Influenza is a seasonally-epidemic viral infection causing 3-5 million severe illnesses and up to approximately 500,000 annual deaths around the world. Influenza-like illnesses (ILI) is a simple constellation of symptoms and signs that was introduced to capture influenza cases in surveillance system. The elderly are more susceptible to cancers and viral infections including influenza infection and complications that was attributed to the phenomenon of immunosenescence or age-associated decline of immune system activity. Biobran/MGN3 is a natural nutritional supplement that was shown to exhibit potent immunomodulator effect such as enhancement of natural killer cell (NKC) activity and up-regulating the production of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and -lambda (IFN-λ). The protective effect of Biobran/MGN-3 against viral infection such hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as well as several cancer types has been previously reported in experimental animal models and humans. The objective of the current study was to investigate the effect of Biobran/MGN-3 on some innate immune system components and the incidence of ILI in the older adult population. The studied innate immune system included NKC activity and the expressions of intracellular viral nucleic acid sensors such as retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-1), melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 (MDA5) and some of their downstream signals such as ISG15 and MX1.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Influenza-like Illness Dietary Supplement: Biobran/MGN-3 Other: Placebo Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

The current study investigated the effect of oral supplementation with Biobran/MGN-3, 500 mg every day for 3 months, on several components of innate immune system and the incidence rate of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) in older adults population. The study protocol conformed to the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki and was approval by Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt. Zagazig University Hospitals serves over 1 million residents in Zagazig district and neighboring towns.

The study spanned the time period from November 2018 till the end of February 2019, a period with known peak incidence of ILI attacks. Subjects of ≥ 56 years were recruited from the visitors of outpatient clinics at Zagazig University Hospitals. The age of ≥ 56 years was used by the WHO to define old age in African nations. In addition, this age is close to public service retirement in Egyptian society, which is associated with significant social, mental, and psychological stress and therefore could be associated with significant decline in NK cell activity. Only local residents of Zagazig district were recruited to the study so as to reduce the dropout rate.

Originally 90 subjects, both males and females, were approached but only 80 subjects, 40 males and 40 females, continued the study. Ten of the recruits refused to participate when they realized that the sachets were only labeled with the manufacture symbols without printed names, which was used to ensure double-blinding. Informed consents were obtained from all participants and their right to unconditionally withdraw from the study at any time were made clear to them.

Males and females were randomly assigned into two groups (n=40/group) that received either placebo or Biobran/MGN-3 (500 mg/day for 3 months). Both the health care giver and the participants were blinded to the ingested supplement. Participants' health was monitored via weekly home visits and they were instructed to report any complaints or side effects by phone to the health care giver.

Diagnosis of ILI was made by documenting the incidence of acute respiratory illness with a measured temperature of ≥ 38 °C with cough (3). After diagnosis, the subject was helped to follow the proper health management plan by the health care giver. During the study, all participants were required not to take any vitamins or medications during the study without consultation.

The effect of Biobran/MGN-3 on liver, kidney, and hematological parameters were monitored. Liver functions were monitored using alanine aminotransferase (ALT/SGPT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST/SGOT), whereas kidney function was monitored using serum uric acid. The assessed hematological parameters included red blood cell count (RBC), hematocrit value (HCT), hemoglobin (Hb), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), and total and differential (WBC).

NKC activity was measured using the well documented degranulation assay. The viral nucleic acid receptors, RIG-1 and MDA5, and their downstream target, ISG15 and MX1, were assessed using flowcytometry in BEAS-2B cells.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 80 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled
Masking: Double (Participant, Care Provider)
Masking Description: Double (Participant, Care Provider)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Dietary Supplementation With Biobran/MGN-3 Increases Innate Resistance Against Viral Infections That Cause Influenza-like Illnesses in Elderly Subjects: a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial
Actual Study Start Date : November 28, 2018
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 28, 2019
Actual Study Completion Date : February 28, 2019

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Biobran/MGN-3
This arm consisted from 20 males and 20 females. Biobran/MGN-3 was orally supplemented at dose of 500 mg per day for 3 months (end of November 2018- end of February 2019).
Dietary Supplement: Biobran/MGN-3
Biobran/MGN3 is defined by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as a food supplement. Biobran/MGN3 is manufactured by hydrolyzing rice bran with the enzymatic extract of medicinal Shiitake mushrooms. Enzyme hydrolysis of rice bran produces arabinoxylane, a hemi-cellulose compound, which constitutes the active ingredient of biobran/MGN3.

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
This arm consisted from 20 males and 20 females. Placebo, with the same appearance and taste, was orally supplemented at dose of 500 mg per day for 3 months (end of November 2018- end of February 2019).
Other: Placebo
Placebo, with same appearance and taste as Biobran/MGN-3, was given to control subjects at a dose of 500 mg everyday for 3 months

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. ILI incidence rate [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Incidence rate was calculated by dividing the number of incident ILI cases by the total number of the group participants during the 3 months study period.

  2. ILI incidence density [ Time Frame: 3600 Person-days ]
    incidence density was calculated by dividing the number of incident cases by the total person-time at risk

  3. NK cell activity [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Percentage of NK cells (CD56-positive CD3-negative) expressing CD-107a

  4. RIG-1, MDA5, ISG15, MX1 expression [ Time Frame: 72 hours ]
    Expression levels in BEAS-2B cells tissue culture exposed to Biobran/MGN-3

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Natural killer T-cells (NKT) cell activity [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Percentage of NK cells (CD56-positive CD3-positive) expressing CD-107a

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   56 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Ages of 56+ years
  • Both sexes will be included.
  • Local residents of Zagazig district
  • Willing to participate in the study and give a written consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects who took influenza vaccine, cortisone, or any other immunosuppressive agents such as radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Diagnosed with infections or malignancies
  • Presence of auto-immune disorders
  • Marked portal hypertension, pancytopenia, renal, or kidney failure
  • Presence of major psychological insult or under medication for psychological insult

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04646980

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Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University
Zagazig, Sharkia, Egypt, 44519
Sponsors and Collaborators
Zagazig University
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
University of California, Irvine
Daiwa Pharmaceutical Corporation Co, Ltd, Tokyo 154-0024 Japan
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Principal Investigator: Ahmed F Elsaid, MD/PhD Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Ahmed Farouk Elsaid, Zagazig University:
Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: Ahmed Farouk Elsaid, Assistant Professor of Community Medicine and Public Health, Zagazig University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04646980    
Other Study ID Numbers: 4034-12-6-2018
First Posted: November 30, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 30, 2020
Last Verified: November 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: Share results upon request.
Supporting Materials: Study Protocol
Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP)
Time Frame: Upon request

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Ahmed Farouk Elsaid, Zagazig University:
Old adults
influenza-like illness
NK cells activity
Degranulation assay
RIG-1, MDA5, ISG15, MX1
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Influenza, Human
Respiratory Tract Infections
Orthomyxoviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases