Video Abstract (AI generated) (01:29)PaperPreprint
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of enveloped, RNA viruses that circulate in mammals and birds. Three highly pathogenic strains have caused zoonotic infections in humans that result in severe respiratory syndromes including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome CoV (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoV (SARS), and the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we describe a panel of synthetic monoclonal antibodies, built on a human IgG framework, that bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19), compete for ACE2 binding, and potently inhibit SARS-CoV-2. All antibodies that exhibited neutralization potencies at sub-nanomolar concentrations against SARS-CoV-2/USA/WA1 in Vero E6 cells, also bound to the receptor binding domain (RBD), suggesting competition for the host receptor ACE2. These antibodies represent strong immunotherapeutic candidates for treatment of COVID-19.
### Competing Interest Statement
S.S, P.P.P and S.J, are cofounders of Virna Therapeutics. The company is developing novel therapies for COVID-19 and other viruses.