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Antibody from SARS Survivor Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 Live Virus Infection of Cells

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 May 2020
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Image: Antibody from SARS Survivor Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 Live Virus Infection of Cells (Photo courtesy of Vir Biotechnology, Inc.)
Image: Antibody from SARS Survivor Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 Live Virus Infection of Cells (Photo courtesy of Vir Biotechnology, Inc.)
An antibody isolated from a patient who recovered from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 has been shown to prevent SARS-CoV-2 live virus infection of cells.

The details of the identification and characterization of the antibody, S309 have been published in the journal Nature by Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (San Francisco, CA, USA) which aims to develop therapeutics for COVID-19 based on this research. Vir is advancing two clinical development candidates based on the S309 antibody as potential therapeutics for COVID-19, VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline plc (London, UK). By utilizing the same approach used to discover and develop S309, Vir scientists, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other government agencies, had earlier isolated mAb114, a monoclonal antibody.

“Remarkably, we believe S309 likely covers the entire family of related coronaviruses, which suggests that, even as SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, it may be quite challenging for it to become resistant to the neutralizing activity of S309,” said Herbert “Skip” Virgin, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Vir. “In addition, S309 exhibits potent effector function in vitro, potentially allowing the antibody to engage and recruit the rest of the immune system to kill off already infected cells. We have seen in animal models of other respiratory infections, such as influenza, that effector function significantly enhances the activity of antibodies that are already potently neutralizing.”

“Potency, coupled with a high barrier to resistance, are hallmarks of a superior antiviral,” said Phillip S. Pang, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, Vir. “We have seen this with mAb114, a single, potent monoclonal antibody that has been shown in a Phase 2/3 trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo to markedly reduce mortality from Ebola.”

Related Links:
Vir Biotechnology, Inc.
GlaxoSmithKline plc



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