Bispecific antibody neutralizes circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, prevents escape and protects mice from disease

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2021 Mar 5:2021.01.22.427567. doi: 10.1101/2021.01.22.427567.


Neutralizing antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) are among the most promising approaches against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) 1,2 . We developed a bispecific, IgG1-like molecule (CoV-X2) based on two antibodies derived from COVID-19 convalescent donors, C121 and C135 3 . CoV-X2 simultaneously binds two independent sites on the RBD and, unlike its parental antibodies, prevents detectable S binding to Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), the virus cellular receptor. Furthermore, CoV-X2 neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern, as well as the escape mutants generated by the parental monoclonals. In a novel animal model of SARS-CoV-2 infection with lung inflammation, CoV-X2 protects mice from disease and suppresses viral escape. Thus, simultaneous targeting of non-overlapping RBD epitopes by IgG-like bispecific antibodies is feasible and effective, combining into a single molecule the advantages of antibody cocktails.

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  • Preprint