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The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need for rapid discovery and development of therapies against life-threatening viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Human B cells from survivors are a potential source of therapeutic antibodies that can be used to treat or prevent viral infection.
In this GEN webinar, we will hear from Anupam Singhal, PhD, who will provide a brief overview of how antibody discovery on the Beacon optofluidic system can be used to screen human B cells for the discovery of antiviral antibodies in under one week. Robert Carnahan, PhD, and Seth Zost, PhD, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, will then describe how they have used the Beacon platform, to rapidly discover hundreds of unique antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Antibodies were selected based on their ability to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein, in addition to their ability to block the binding of the Spike protein to the human ACE-2 receptor, an essential interaction for infection of human cells by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The selected antibodies were further characterized to demonstrate their ability to both block and neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The antibodies discovered in this work have the potential to become a critical antibody therapy in the current struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.