▲Neutralizing Antibodies for COVID-19 discovered in patient recovered from SARS (sources:Freepik)
Although there are signs showing pandemic has started to slow down, researchers are still trying to find a cure for COVID-19 to prevent the outbreak in the future. Professor Shan-Chwen Chang, the convenor of the advisory panel to the Central Epidemic Command Center, once pointed out that “neutralizing antibody” is the key to prevent reinfection of COVID-19.
Recently, the research team from University of Washington (UW) found an antibody, S309, which is able to inhibit coronavirus from a patient recovered from SARS. The paper “Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody” published the research result on Nature.
The UW research team leads by Assistant Professor David Vessler has been researching on SARS virus since 2004. After the outbreak, the team applied their research experience in COVID-19 related research and has become the world’s first laboratory to find the neutralizing antibody for COVID-19.
Unlike other research teams, their search on neutralizing antibody conducted the experiment on someone who had been infected by SARS 17 years ago. Among 25 SARS antibodies being examined, the team found the antibody “S309” is particularly potent at targeting and disabling the spike protein, which means it is able to neutralize the virus SARS-CoV-2.
Researchers learned that the S309 antibody recognizes a binding site on the coronavirus that is conserved across many sarbocoviruses, which is probably why this antibody can act against both SARS and COVID-19.
The team also proposed a multiple antibody cocktail approach that combines the S309 antibody with other weaker antibodies to provide prevention treatment for high infection risk groups. “We still need to show that this antibody is protective in living systems, which has not yet been done,” Veesler said; however, this finding has undoubtedly brought new hope to cure the COVID-19.
Pinto, D. et al. (2020) Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody. Nature. UW Medicine Newsroom. (2020) Antibody neutralizes SARS and COVID-19 coronaviruses. Available from: https://newsroom.uw.edu/news/antibody-neutralizes-sars-and-covid-19-coronaviruses