The researchers investigated the activity of nine anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against several variants of concern, including alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron.
The scientists at the Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine suspect that the antibodies may reduce the future need for regular boosters.
The research was published in Communications Biology.
Natalia Freund and doctoral students Michael Mor and Ruofan Lee at Tel Aviv University led the research in collaboration with Ben Croker of the University of California at San Diego. Other research partners included Ye Xiang, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing and professors Meital Gal-Tanamy and Moshe Dessau of Bar-Ilan University.
The researchers showed that the antibodies TAU-1109 and TAU-2310 retained potency against the delta and omicron variants. The former was 92% efficacious against omicron, while the latter was 84% efficacious against the variant.
The recent research marks a continuation of an earlier study from October 2020 in which Freund isolated nine antibodies from patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
The letters in the antibodies’ names derive from Tel Aviv University.
The efficacy of the antibodies was validated by researchers at the University of California San Diego.
The antibodies bind to a portion of the ACE2 receptor binding site that rarely undergoes mutations.
Monoclonal antibodies played an important role in battling the pandemic in 2021.
Regeneron and Eli Lilly both had robust sales of their respective antibodies until U.S. regulators decided to limit their use after the emergence of the omicron variant late in the year.
GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology also developed sotrovimab, an antibody targeting SARS-CoV-2. While sotrovimab initially appeared to be effective against omicron, the emergence of the BA.2 sublineage of the variant convinced FDA to limit support for the product in March 2022. The agency withdrew its support for the product in April 2022.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease