A Potently Neutralizing Antibody Protects Mice Against SARS-CoV-2 Infection

J Immunol. 2020 Jun 26;ji2000583. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000583. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths globally. There are no widely available licensed therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, highlighting an urgent need for effective interventions. The virus enters host cells through binding of a receptor-binding domain within its trimeric spike glycoprotein to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. In this article, we describe the generation and characterization of a panel of murine mAbs directed against the receptor-binding domain. One mAb, 2B04, neutralized wild-type SARS-CoV-2 in vitro with remarkable potency (half-maximal inhibitory concentration of <2 ng/ml). In a murine model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, 2B04 protected challenged animals from weight loss, reduced lung viral load, and blocked systemic dissemination. Thus, 2B04 is a promising candidate for an effective antiviral that can be used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.