Vir Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ:VIR) has published new research that characterizes antibody response differences to SARS-CoV-2. The analysis is the largest to date. It documents neutralizing antibodies’ kinetics and binding properties, which offers important insights vital in developing new therapies and vaccines to fight COVID-19.
Vir published results characterizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2
The company published the results online in the Cell peer-reviewed journal, which is expected to appear in the journal’s print edition on November 12, 2020. The study results are based on blood samples of almost 650 individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Italy, the US, and Switzerland. These results showed that the extent of antibody production in COVID-19 patients was proportional to the disease’s severity, whereby hospitalized patients showed higher antibody titers than non-hospitalized individuals. According to researchers, the neutralizing antibodies’ main target is the receptor-binding domain of the virus, which accounted for 90% of neutralizing activity in one’s serum.
David Corti, the SVP antibody research at the company and the research’s author, said that the study offered new insight regarding the different antibody responses in patients to COPVID-19 infection. Most importantly, the study results offer a blueprint vital in helping serology studies in the future and inform therapeutic and vaccine design strategies. Corti added that the quick decline of natural antibody responses and the idea that around 60% of the infected persons lack antibody production, which can block SARS-CoV-2 infection, highlights the need for more potential therapeutic approaches.
The study describes 6 neutralizing antibodies targeting coronavirus
The research also describes the structural characteristics of six neutralizing antibodies that target SARS-CoV-2 RBD, including S309. In July, the company described in the Nature journal that S309 was isolated from an individual that had recovered from SARS in 2003. The publication indicated that S309 had demonstrated effectiveness against coronavirus infection in animal models. The results published in Cell showed that S309 had a high binding affinity to a different RBD part relative to the examined monoclonal antibodies.