Accelerated identification of novel SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies which retain binding to major COVID-19 causing viral variants
"Collectively, we felt it important to apply the best antibody platforms in identifying treatments against COVID-19. We believe by using a broad repertoire of antibody libraries and mammalian display, we can find therapeutic candidates that will progress through manufacturing and ultimately into patients in a speedy timeframe."
Founder and CSO at IONTAS
BBC News Report
Two leading antibody discovery clinical research organizations (CROs), IONTAS (Cambridge, UK) and FairJourney Biologics (Porto, Portugal) have discovered a new panel of antibodies that neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus with picomolar potency. This work was featured in a news report by the British Broadcasting Company BBC late 2020.
Furthering their research, the two organizations recently announced the identification of neutralizing antibodies, which bind to multiple emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The results, generated from a combination of phage display technology and B-cell receptor repertoire sequencing of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, have identified potent neutralizing antibodies with distinct mechanisms of action. Based on this approach, the Company has developed a panel of therapeutic candidates.
In addition to vaccines, antibody therapies are an important line of defense to COVID-19. In this work, scientists used blood from 18 patients who had recently recovered from COVID-19 in order to purify hundreds of virus-neutralizing antibodies. Further characterization identified a panel of 15 antibodies with efficacies as low as 20 pM in pseudoviral assays and 100 pM in live coronavirus assays. The companies used their expertise in phage display technology in addition to iQue® Advanced Flow Cytometry (Sartorius) to complete this work within an unprecedented two-month time frame.
Advanced High Throughput Flow Cytometry Systems
The iQue® Advanced Flow Cytometry Platform is based on traditional flow cytometry, but built for screening. It is an integrated instrument, software and reagent system for rapid, high content, multiplexed analysis of cells and beads in suspension.
Therapeutic antibodies are one of the fastest-growing classes of drugs. Technologies like the iQue® that allow for rapid identification and characterization of candidate antibodies will be instrumental in our fight with the current pandemic, and other diseases in need of safe and effective targeted therapies.