Vir Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ: VIR) has announced preclinical data published to the preprint server bioRxiv, showing the effect of the antigenic shift of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Monoclonal antibodies’ activity evaluated in vitro Sotrovimab
There was a substantial reduction in plasma neutralizing activity against Omicron in serum from convalescent and vaccinated people. In addition, the neutralizing activity of 44 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) was also examined in vitro Sotrovimab, and five additional preclinical mAbs developed by Vir in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline retained their in vitro neutralizing ability against Omicron, according to the findings.
The preclinical findings were obtained through pseudo-virus testing and back up recent findings from Vir researchers as well as other independent laboratories and institutes. These findings support Omicron’s immune evasion and its neutralizing activity impact of the majority of investigated monoclonal antibody therapies targeting the receptor-binding motif and other mutagenic regions of the spike protein.
Vir Biotechnology EVP Research and chief scientific Officer Hebert “Skip” Virgin said, “While we work to better understand the potential impact of the significant number of mutations in the Omicron variant and its anticipated trajectory, it is encouraging to see such a high level of consistency across a rapidly growing body of preclinical data generated from both industry and academia. Together with new data from external sources, these results continue to validate our approach of targeting a highly conserved region of the spike protein. We believe this strategy is responsible for sotrovimab’s ability to maintain activity against all tested variants of concern and interest, including Omicron. We look forward to applying these learnings to our ongoing efforts to address both current and future pandemics.”
Sotrovimab neutralizes SARS-CoV-2
Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2, currently under evaluation. The antibody attaches to an epitope on SARS-CoV-2 that is also seen on SARS-CoV-1 (the virus that causes SARS), showing that the epitope is highly conserved, making resistance development more difficult. The monoclonal antibody is also designed to attain a high concentration in the lungs for optimal penetration into SARS-CoV-2-affected airway tissues and to have a long half-life.