Nov 26, 2020Paper

An Engineered Antibody with Broad Protective Efficacy in Murine Models of SARS and COVID-19

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
C Garrett RappazzoLaura M Walker

Abstract

The recurrent zoonotic spillover of coronaviruses (CoVs) into the human population underscores the need for broadly active countermeasures. Here, we employed a directed evolution approach to engineer three SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for enhanced neutralization breadth and potency. One of the affinity-matured variants, ADG-2, displays strong binding activity to a large panel of sarbecovirus receptor binding domains (RBDs) and neutralizes representative epidemic sarbecoviruses with remarkable potency. Structural and biochemical studies demonstrate that ADG-2 employs a unique angle of approach to recognize a highly conserved epitope overlapping the receptor binding site. In murine models of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infection, passive transfer of ADG-2 provided complete protection against respiratory burden, viral replication in the lungs, and lung pathology. Altogether, ADG-2 represents a promising broad-spectrum therapeutic candidate for the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 and future emerging SARS-like CoVs.

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