Development of Highly Potent Monoclonal Antibodies for Prophylaxis and Treatment (Nussenzweig, Bieniasz, Hatziioannou)

It will be desirable to identify several highly potent antibodies that when given in combination can prevent or stop viral infection. Several years ago, immunologist Michel Nussenzweig developed a robust method for purifying the ?B cells? that are making specific antibodies of interest in people, cloning the genes that produce these antibodies, allowing the production of these antibodies in large quantities for clinical use. He has effectively used this method to develop an antibody-based treatment for prevention and control of established HIV infection. He will now repeat this trick for COVID-19. This project will be collaborative with Rockefeller virologists Paul Bieniasz and Theodora Hatziioannou, as well as with the Rockefeller University Hospital. Paul and Theodora are developing a greatly simplified and rapid method to assess the level of neutralizing antibodies in each recovered patient?s blood that does not require the use of live COVID-19. The assay they are developing will be vital to both of the first two projects described. Because these antibodies are identified in patients who successfully recovered from infection, they are highly likely to be clinically effective and could bein the clinic in a year. Michel Nussenzweig 212-327-8000

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