CSU to verify antibody data for COVID-19 study

Wednesday September 2, 2020 0 comments Tags: Fort Collins, CSU, Twist Bioscience, COVID-19, Richard Bowen

FORT COLLINS -- Colorado State University is playing a key role in a study by a California company in the fight against COVID-19.csu.logo 

CSU scientists are independently verifying data collected by Saint Louis University demonstrating neutralizing effects of multiple potential therapeutic antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

California-based Twist Bioscience, which is conducting the study, said the neutralizing effects were found to be comparable to or better than those seen with antibody candidates derived from patients who had recovered from COVID-19.

“These data are encouraging and provide powerful validation of our ability to generate well characterized and potent antibodies from our proprietary libraries,” said Emily M. Leproust, CEO and cofounder of Twist.

“Importantly, the neutralizing effects seen in these in vitro studies suggest that infections in humans could be blocked. We are now evaluating the best path forward for these neutralizing antibodies to support the fight against COVID-19.”

“Neutralizing antibodies have the potential to provide protective effects in treating patient with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Richard Bowen of Colorado State University.

“The results from both the IgG and VHH antibodies generated by Twist Biopharma warrant advancement of several of these compounds into animal studies and potentially into human clinical trials.”

The in vitro studies involved testing more than 200 well characterized monoclonal antibody and VHH nanobody candidates against live virus and pseudovirus cells. Each antibody was chosen for its high and unbiased binding affinity to either the receptor binding domain of the S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 or the extracellular domain of ACE2 in human cells.

The candidates were identified by Twist Biopharma, a division of Twist Bioscience, in just six weeks by screening its proprietary synthetic antibody discovery libraries each containing more than 10 billion antibody sequences, and within months produced robust neutralization data in live virus cells.

The full data sets can be seen on the Twist website here and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

“All antibodies moving through clinical development for the treatment of COVID-19 are full IgG antibodies and already show promise in early studies,” said James D. Brien of Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine.

“The single domain (VHH) nanobodies included in these neutralization assays may represent a different therapeutic path to treat the disease. Given their very small size in comparison to IgG antibodies, they may be able to access epitopes on the virus that are unavailable to full IgGs.”