OSAKA: Antiviral antibody for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has been found by the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Health, and Nutrition (NIBIOHN; Ibaraki-shi, Osaka; Director-general: Yoshihiro Yoneda) and Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (Chuo-ku, Osaka; President and CEO: Isao Teshirogi). This antibody is for SARS-CoV-2, its variants, and closely related viruses.
The newly identified antibody binds to virus spike proteins displayed on the infected cell surface. The bound antibody supports the immune response of infected individuals to attack the infected cells via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC).
Unlike many other antibody drugs, the newly identified antibody’s binding site (epitope) resides in a specific part of the spike structure that is poorly susceptible to mutation. Therefore, the antibody reacts with various virus variants, including the Omicron variant.
Because the epitope structure of many other coronaviruses has few changes, the new antiviral antibody is expected to be effective against a wide range of coronaviruses, even if there are new variants in the future.
In current clinical use, antibody cocktails and other neutralising antibodies target individuals with mild infections. In contrast, the newly identified antibody may be suitable to treat patients at high risk of disease of greater severity. In addition, a “broad-spectrum antiviral antibody” should be ideal for emergency use in the event of a probable new coronavirus pandemic in the future. NIBIOHN will conduct further research.