Coronavirus Antibodies by VIR Biotechnology – Two Antibodies Against Coronavirus Discovered
The novel coronavirus, now officially named as ‘Covid-19’ by WHO has affected around 64000 people and has killed more than 1,300 people.
Vir Biotechnology, a US-based immunology company has identified two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that can bind to the novel coronavirus, Covid-19.
From an existing library of 20 fully human antibodies that bind and neutralize certain coronaviruses, the antibodies were discovered by the company. Formally, researchers identified these antibodies to bind and neutralize SARS coronavirus.
In the region used by the virus to enter cells via the cellular receptor ACE2, it was noted that the antibodies act on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in this region.
“We are working on a pseudo-virus in the process of assessing neutralization with it. Additionally, to assess the capacity of these antibodies to neutralize the live virus, SARS-CoV-2, we are working with international partners,” said the CEO of Vir Biotechnology, George Scangos.
These mAbs or other antibodies identified are being studied by the company to see if they can offer effective prophylaxis or treatment against the virus.
To support the company’s research and to access manufacturing capacity worldwide, Vir intends to form alliances with companies and governmental agencies.
The chief scientific officer of Vir Biotechnology, Herbert Virgin said, “Using the same platform that was used to isolate mAb114, which has proven to be active against Ebola, we are pleased that we have quickly identified antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 with potential biological activity.”
While vaccines provide only protection, according to the company, antibodies can be both prophylactic and therapeutic.
A vaccine involves making an immune response by an individual and takes weeks while an antibody delivers an immune response that becomes effective within hours of injection.
To determine if its previously identified mAbs against coronavirus can bind and neutralize the virus and to isolate new antibodies specific for SARS-CoV-2, the company is using its antibody technology platform.
Coronavirus Antibodies by VIR Biotechnology Source