In a recent effort to find coronavirus treatment, scientists have reportedly identified a pair of neutralising antibodies that may help in design molecule antivirals and vaccine candidates. According to an international media report, the antibodies identified by the researchers bind to the glycoprotein spike of the SARD-CoV-2 virus which helps to block the spike’s ability to bind the human ACE2 receptor and mediate viral entry into host cells.
The researchers reportedly said that the preliminary tests of the two antibodies, named B38 and H4, in a mouse model resulted in a reduction of virus titers. This study also suggests that the antibodies may offer therapeutic benefits in addition to informing the design of all molecule therapeutics and vaccine candidates to fight the deadly virus.
Further explaining the research, Yan Wu from Capital Medical University said that the scientists found that the antibodies can each bind simultaneously to different epitopes on the spike’s receptor-binding domain (RBD). Yan added that the due the binding, both antibodies together may confer a stronger neutralising effect that either antibody on its own.
According to the researchers, this feature means that if one of the viral epitopes mutate in a way that prevents the binding of one of the two antibodies, then the other may still retain its neutralising activity. Yan reportedly said that by imaging the structure of the viral spike’s RBD bound to B38, the antibody binds to a subset of the amino acids bound by ACE2. Further, he explained that the research provides an explanation for why the B38 antibody confers such strong neutralising effects.
In conclusion, the scientists explained that the researchers suggest that a ‘cocktail’ coating both antibodies could provide direct therapeutic benefits for COVID-19 patients. Yan reportedly said that the finding regarding the viral spike epitopes could also aid the development of small molecule antivirals and vacancies candidates to fight the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus.