In science today, Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have described a new method for extracting small but extremely potent SARS-CoV-2 antibody fractions from lamas, which have the potential to inhibit and treat COVID-19 as an incurable therapeutic form. Can be seen from
These specialized llama antibodies, called “nanobodies”, are much smaller than human antibodies and are sometimes more effective in neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They are much more stable.
“Nature is our best inventor,” said senior writer Yi Shi, assistant professor of cell biology at Pitt. “The technology that we developed SARS-CoV-2 is neutralizing nanobodies on an unprecedented scale, which allowed us to discover thousands of nanobodies with unmatched affinity and specificity.”
To generate these nanobodies, Xi turned to a black lama named Wally – who resembles him and therefore shares his moniker with Shi’s black labrador.
Shi and colleagues immunized the llama with a fragment of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and, after approximately two months, the animal’s immune system produced mature nanobodies against the virus.
Using a mass spectrometry-based technique that Xi has perfected for the past three years, lead author Yufi Jiang, a research assistant at Xi’s lab, identified nanobodies in Wally’s blood, most strongly from SARS-COV-2. Let’s connect.
Then, with the help of the Pitts Center for Vaccine Research (CVR), scientists uncovered their nanobodies to survive the SARS-CoV-2 virus and found that a fraction of a nanogram left a million human cells infected Can neutralize enough viruses for. .
These nanobodies represent some of the most effective therapeutic antibody for SARS-CoV-2, compared to other llama nanobodies discovered through the same phage display methods used for fish for human functional antibodies. Are hundreds to thousands of times more effective.
Xi’s nanobodies can sit at room temperature for up to six weeks and can tolerate being inhaled in an inhaled mist and delivered antiviral therapy directly to the lungs where they are most needed. Because SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus, nanobodies can find and find it in the respiratory system before it even has a chance to do damage.
Conversely, traditional SARS-CoV-2 antibodies require an IV, which dilutes the product throughout the body, requires a much larger dose and costs patients and insurers around $ 100,000 per treatment course is.
“Nanobiodium can potentially cost very little,” said Xi. “They are ideal for addressing the urgency and magnitude of the current crisis.”
In collaboration with Cheng Zhang at Pitt and Dina Schneidman-Duhovni at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the team found that their nanobodies use a variety of mechanisms to prevent SARS-COV-2 infection. It cooks nanobodies for bioengineering. For example, nanobodies that bind to different regions on the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be joined together like a Swiss Army knife if a part of the virus mutates and becomes drug resistant.
“As a virologist, it is unbelievable to see how the culmination of Canama antibody generation can be translated into the creation of a potent nanowipon against clinical isolates of SARS-COV-2,” study Kathor and CVR Director Paul Dupreaux said.
Additional authors of the study include Sham Nambulli, Zhengyun Xiao, Heng Liu and Jae Sang, all of Pitt.
Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Pitts Center for Vaccine Research, and the DSF Charitable Foundation.