Warning: This is a preliminary report that has not been peer-reviewed. It should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.

NeutrobodyPlex - Nanobodies to monitor a SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing immune response (Preliminary Report)

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, the need for effective vaccination programs, diagnosis tools and therapeutic intervention ever increases. Neutralizing binding molecules have become important tools for acute treatment of COVID-19 and also provide a unique possibility to monitor the emergence and presence of a neutralizing immune response in infected or ...
vaccinated individuals. Here we identified 11 unique nanobodies (Nbs) with high binding affinities to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor domain (RBD). Of these, 8 effectively block the RBD:ACE2 interface. Via competitive binding analysis and detailed epitope mapping, we grouped all Nbs into 3 sets and demonstrated their neutralizing effect. Combinations from different sets showed a profound synergistic effect by simultaneously targeting different epitopes within the RBD. Finally, we established a competitive multiplex binding assay (NeutrobodyPlex) enabling the detection of neutralizing antibodies in serum of infected patients. Overall, our Nbs have high potential for prophylactic and therapeutic options and provide a novel approach to screen for a neutralizing immune response in infected or vaccinated individuals, helping to monitor immune status or guide vaccine design.
Date: Sep. 28, 2020
Status: Preliminary Report
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