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

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
C. G. RappazzoLaura M. Walker


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.

Methods Mentioned

Flow cytometry
electron microscopy

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