NewsHealthCovid, 'wild card' monoclonal antibodies neutralize variants

Covid, ‘wild card’ monoclonal antibodies neutralize variants

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Possible turning point in the fight against the variants of the Covid-19 coronavirus, thanks to an international collaboration that also sees Italy as the protagonist with the universities of Brescia and Rome Tor Vergata. The research team has developed ‘multivalent’ monoclonal antibodies to Sars-CoV-2, engineered to enhance their neutralizing capabilities and to be effective against various mutants of the virus. With this approach, instead of an antibody cocktail it is possible to use a single ‘wildcard’ monoclonal, at very low concentrations, which binds to the Spike protein with a power “at least 100 times higher than that of the other antibodies available”, assure the scientists. , precisely neutralizing “a wide range of variants of the virus”. The study, supported by funding from the Rome Foundation and the Ministry of University and Research, is published in ‘Cell Reports’ and sees alongside the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Giuseppe Novelli) and the University of Brescia (Arnaldo Caruso, Francesca Caccuri) also US (University of Washington) and Canadian (University of Toronto) institutions. The technology used – explain by Tor Vergata and UniBs – has made it possible to develop “a robust and modular platform for the rapid production of new generation monoclonal antibodies that far exceed traditional bivalent antibodies” and are therefore “usable for other applications. The possibility of obtaining highly neutralizing antibodies with great rapidity can constitute “, according to the authors,” a new weapon to combat rapidly changing viruses, such as Sars-CoV-2 “. The belief of scientists is that” the ‘passive infusion of these monoclonal antibodies as pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis “may offer” immediate protection from infections that could last weeks or months. ” “The design, development and production of next-generation monoclonal antibodies is urgent to have targeted and immediate therapies – says Novelli – Monoclonal antibodies could limit the progression of the disease during early infection, especially due to the emergence of new ones. variants that escape vaccines “.” We must think in the long term – Caruso warns – The emergence of new variants capable of evading immunity acquired naturally or following vaccination, makes it necessary to develop more and more rapid neutralizing monoclonals. The ready availability of these antibodies capable of counteracting these new variants will allow not only to enhance a possible therapy with specific antiviral drugs, making the course of the disease milder and of short duration, but also to protect all those immunocompromised patients for a long time and effectively or frail who do not respond to vaccination “.

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