This antibody prevents SARS-CoV-2 virus from infecting cultured cells

Utrecht University, Erasmus Medical Center, and Harbour BioMed researchers report the discovery of an antibody that blocks infection by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in cells.

A fully human monoclonal antibody prevents the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus from infecting cultured cells, suggests a new study by the Utrecht University.

This finding is a step forward towards developing a fully human antibody to treat or prevent respiratory disease COVID-19.

Berend-Jan Bosch, Associate Professor, Research leader at Utrecht University, said“This research builds on the work our groups have done in the past on antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV that emerged in 2002/2003. Using this collection of SARS-CoV antibodies, we identified an antibody that also neutralizes infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cultured cells. Such a neutralizing antibody has the potential to alter the course of infection in the infected host, support virus clearance, or protect an uninfected individual that is exposed to the virus.”

“The antibody binds to a domain that is conserved in both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, explaining its ability to neutralize both viruses. This cross-neutralizing feature of the antibody is exciting and suggests it may have potential in mitigation of diseases caused by future-emerging related coronaviruses.”

Frank Grosveld, Ph.D. Co-lead author on the study, Academy Professor of Cell Biology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam and Founding Chief Scientific Officer at Harbour BioMed, said, “This discovery provides a strong foundation for additional research to characterize this antibody and begin development as a potential COVID-19 treatment. The antibody used in this work is ‘fully human,’ allowing development to proceed more rapidly and reducing the potential for immune-related side effects.”

Dr. Jingsong Wang, Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of HBM, said, “This is groundbreaking research. Much more work is needed to assess whether this antibody can protect or reduce the severity of disease in humans. We expect to advance the development of the antibody with partners. We believe our technology can contribute to addressing this most urgent public health need, and we are pursuing several other research avenues.”

Journal Reference:
  1. A human monoclonal antibody blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16256-y

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