Study “particularly strong” antibody found in SARS patients 17 years ago inhibits COVID-19

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As the war against the coronavirus pandemic continues, a new study has found that someone who recovered from SARS 17 years ago has an antibody that inhibits COVID-19.

The antibody, known as S309, is “particularly powerful” in targeting and deactivating the advanced protein in SARS-CoV-2, according to a statement from the University of Washington, which participated in the research. The antibody is currently undergoing an accelerated development and testing procedure at Vir Biotechnology.

“Remarkably, we think S309 probably covers the whole family of related coronaviruses, which suggests that, even if SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, it may be quite difficult for it to become resistant to the neutralizing activity of S309, “said Herbert” Skip “Virgin, MD, Ph.D., scientific director of Vir, in a separate statement.

Coronavirus researcher David Veesler describes how neutralizing antibodies work against SARS and COVID-19 viruses. (Credit: Randy Carnell)

Coronavirus researcher David Veesler describes how neutralizing antibodies work against SARS and COVID-19 viruses. (Credit: Randy Carnell)

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“In addition, S309 has a powerful effector function in vitro, potentially allowing the antibody to engage and recruit the rest of the immune system to kill already infected cells. We have seen in animal models of other respiratory infections, such as influenza, that effector function significantly improves the activity of antibodies that are already potently neutralizing. “

One of the study’s co-authors, David Veesler, warned that a lot of work needs to be done before S309 can help COVID-19 patients because the study was conducted in the laboratory.

“We have yet to show that this antibody is protective in living systems, which has not yet been done,” Veesler said in the UW statement.

However, the ability of S309 to deactivate the advanced proteins in SARS-CoV-2 could prove useful either in itself or as a “multiple antibody cocktail approach”.

The researchers found that when S309 was combined with other “weaker antibodies” identified in the SARS patient seen since 2004, the neutralization of COVID-19 was “enhanced”.

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“Antibody cocktails, including S309 and other antibodies identified here, have further improved the neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 and may limit the emergence of neutralization-leakage mutants,” wrote the authors of the study. “These results pave the way for the use of antibody cocktails containing S309 and S309 for prophylaxis in people at high risk of exposure or as post-exposure therapy to limit or treat serious illness. “

Two clinical drug trials, in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, of genetically modified versions of S309 are expected to start this summer.

The research was published in the scientific journal Nature.

Currently, there is no known scientific cure for the condition known as COVID-19, however, a number of drugs are being tested to see if they can treat it.

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As of Tuesday morning, more than 4.82 million cases of coronavirus were diagnosed worldwide, including more than 1.51 million in the United States, the most affected country on the planet.

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