Potent breadth and cross-reactivity of novel CoV2 neutralizing human monoclonal antibody that can neutralize the highly immune-evasive BQ.1/BQ.1.1 variants that are currently responsible for ≅ 50% of CoV2 infection in US.
The emergence of highly immune evasive SARS-CoV2 escape mutants require an immediate response from the scientific community to control breakthrough infections in COVID-19 vaccinated individuals and to limit the pathogenicity associated with infection in immunocompromised and elderly people. While the emergency authorization for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as prophylactic and therapeutic agents has significantly reduced the COVID-19 death burden in the latter populations, these therapies are no longer effective for the recently emerged highly resistant subvariants of Omicron (XBB.1.5, BQ.1, and BQ1.1) which now constitute 90% of new infections in the U.S.
Because of the similar immune evasiveness and infectivity of BQ.1.1/BQ.1, and XBB.1.5, it is likely that these strains will coexist in the immediate future. Therefore, an mAb-based therapeutic that is capable of neutralizing current variants alone or in combination with other therapeutic mAbs is needed.
Researchers at Rutgers University have recently identified a broadly reactive mAb that potently neutralizes a broad range of past and current variants, including the majority of the Omicron variants, at doses as low as 1 ng/ml. Variants neutralized by Rutgers mAb include the highly immune-resistant Omicron BQ.1 and BQ1.1 subvariants that currently contribute to 50% of infection in US (IC50s in the ng/ml range). The combination of Rutgers novel mAb and EUA-approved mAbs targets two independent, non-competing neutralization targets, and provides a novel, effective combination immunotherapy against Omicron subvariants that are fueling the current pandemic. This therapy may be particularly useful for treating immunosuppressed and other compromised individuals.
- Therapeutic use to treat current CoV2 infections
- Use as a pre-exposure prophylactic to reduce the chance of CoV2 infection
- Strong neutralizing capacity against dominant CoV2 variants, including the highly immune-resistant Omicron BQ.1.1 and BQ.1 sub-variants that are currently responsible for ≅ 50% of CoV2 infections in the U.S.
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