Bispecific Antibodies Potently Neutralize SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern
Immuno Oncology Summit 2021
Keynote Presentation by Joshua Tan, PhD, Chief, NIH NIAID
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern underscores the need for antibody-based tools that target multiple sites of the spike protein. We isolated 216 monoclonal antibodies and designed several bispecific antibodies that potently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2. Notably, two of nine bispecific antibodies neutralized the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants and the wild-type virus with comparable potency. Thus, bispecific antibodies represent a promising next-generation countermeasure against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
Jacob Lemieux: Inferring the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 lineages and mutations
This week's speaker is Jacob Lemieux, an infectious disease researcher at the Broad Institute, clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School.
Repeated emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmissibility necessitates rapid detection and characterization of new lineages. To address this need, we developed PyR0, a hierarchical Bayesian multinomial logistic regression model that infers relative transmissibility of all viral lineages across geographic regions, detects lineages increasing in prevalence, and identifies mutations relevant to transmissibility. Applying PyR0 to all publicly available SARS-CoV-2 genomes, we identify numerous substitutions that increase transmissibility, including previously identified spike mutations and many non-spike mutations within the nucleocapsid and nonstructural proteins. PyR0 forecasts growth of new lineages from their mutational profile, identifies viral lineages of concern as they emerge, and prioritizes mutations of biological and public health concern for functional characterization.
Organized by Janelia's Sarada Viswanathan and Loren Looger, the Science of COVID-19 seminar series brings in outside experts, covers papers and preprints, and highlights local efforts in testing, production, and analysis.