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CHUV and EPFL discover a highly potent antibody against SARS-CoV-2

Life sciences

13 October 2021

CHUV and EPFL have discovered a highly potent monoclonal antibody targeting the SARS-COV-2 Spike protein. This antibody neutralizes all variants of the virus, including the delta variant.

The newly identified antibody was isolated using lymphocytes from Covid-19 patients enrolled in the ImmunoCoV study being carried out by CHUV’s Service of Immunology and Allergy. This antibody is one of the most powerful identified so far against SARS-CoV-2.

In addition to its antiviral properties, the new antibody is designed to have a lasting effect in humans. A typical unaltered antibody provides protection for up to three or four weeks.

But this new one can protect patients for four to six months. That makes it an interesting preventive treatment option for unvaccinated at-risk individuals or for vaccinated individuals who are unable to produce an immune response. 

A major step forward in the fight against Covid-19

CHUV and EPFL now plan to build on these promising results in association with a start-up company which will perform clinical development and production of the antibody-containing drug, through cooperation and intellectual property agreements. Clinical trials of the drug should begin in late 2022.

The discovery of this new antibody marks a major step forward in the fight against Covid-19. It opens the door to improved treatments for severe forms of the disease and to enhanced prophylactic measures, especially for patients with weakened immune systems.