Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages have escaped most receptor-binding domain (RBD)-targeting therapeutic neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), which proves that previous NAb drug screening strategies are deficient against the fast-evolving SARS-CoV-2. Better broad NAb drug candidate selection methods are needed. Here, we describe a rational approach for identifying RBD-targeting broad SARS-CoV-2 NAb cocktails. Based on high-throughput epitope determination, we propose that broad NAb drugs should target non-immunodominant RBD epitopes to avoid herd-immunity-directed escape mutations. Also, their interacting antigen residues should focus on sarbecovirus conserved sites and associate with critical viral functions, making the antibody-escaping mutations less likely to appear. Following these criteria, a featured non-competing antibody cocktail, SA55+SA58, is identified from a large collection of broad sarbecovirus NAbs isolated from SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated SARS convalescents. SA55+SA58 potently neutralizes ACE2-utilizing sarbecoviruses, including circulating Omicron variants, and could serve as broad SARS-CoV-2 prophylactics to offer long-term protection, especially for individuals who are immunocompromised or with high-risk comorbidities.
Keywords: CP: Immunology; CP: Microbiology; SARS-CoV-2; antibody; broad-spectrum; cocktail; omicron; prophylactics; sarbecovirus.
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