2020-124 – Cross-Neutralizing scFv Antibodies for COVID-19 Therapies

Background Infectious viral-based diseases; such as, COVID-19, are highly contagious and life threatening. These diseases, in particular, have the potential to pose serious repercussions and threats on the well-being and socio-economic aspects of society. For these reasons, it is vital to develop both preventive measures and therapeutic treatments for infections caused by these viruses. Currently, 15.3 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, with numbers extensively increasing daily. Pharmaceutical compositions and diagnostic tools are being heavily researched, to prevent or directly treat COVID-19; however, a successful method has yet to become commercially viable to meet the growing demand. At this time, a number of preventative measures have been put into place, including, social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and quarantining. These methods reduce the risk of spreading the disease, but do not offer complete elimination or mitigation of infection and the resulting symptoms. Therefore, this and related research is vital for individuals worldwide that are currently infected, those that have yet to be exposed or infected, or those having their income seriously affected by this disease, due to business closures and additional economic impact. Development of a successful preventative or treatment for COVID-19 will result in a halt to the turmoil currently being experienced across the world. Technology Description Researchers at the University of New Mexico and Loyola University have developed a method to detect and neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, in a biological sample. Single-chain fragment (scFv) antibodies generated utilizing a cell-free ribosome display against the Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) were analyzed, resulting in the identification of a cross-reaction with a SARS-CoV-2 protein. Ultimately, this interaction exhibited neutralization of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. These antibodies offer the potential to prevent and/or treat COVID-19, either alone or in combination with alternative pharmaceutical compositions. Gregg Banninger GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu 505-272-7908

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