Exclusive: Antibody against multiple emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants

A broadly neutralizing highly potent human monoclonal antibody developed in India against multiple emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants

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Image for representational purpose only.
New Delhi: Scientists from International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB, New Delhi), Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR-NIMR, New Delhi) working in collaboration with Emory Vaccine Center (Atlanta, USA) have developed a broadly neutralizing highly potent human monoclonal antibody against most key SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron sub-lineages.
They discovered this antibody after single-cell screening memory B cells derived from COVID-19 recovered individuals from India. They tested this human monoclonal antibody against several SARS-CoV-2 variants including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and the recently emerging and highly infectious Omicron sub-lineages such as BA.1, BA.2, BA.2.12, BA.4 and BA.5 and found that it maintains its neutralization potency against all these variants of concern.
The basis for this remarkable functionality is revealed in the detailed structural studies that show that this antibody targets a unique portion of the virus that is highly conserved across a diverse spectrum of the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Speaking to BioVoice News, Dr Amit Sharma, co-author of the paper said: “This scientific work is a shining example of research collaboration between the premier research funding bodies in India. It is a matter of great pride for all involved to go from basic science to therapeutic product in such a small-time window.”
This new antibody developed in India is a pioneering example of ‘Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat’ efforts to develop indigenous solutions for tackling emerging diseases of concern in India and worldwide.
The study is led by Drs. Anmol Chandele, Kaja Murali Krishna of the ICGEB-Emory Vaccine Center at ICGEB New Delhi in collaboration with Dr. Amit Sharma, ICGEB, Dr Rafi Ahmed and scientists from the Emory Vaccine Center, Atlanta.
This collaborative work is funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and supported by the Dept of Biotechnology (DBT) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) of the Government of India who have jointly filed a patent for the antibody clone.
The first author of the paper is Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, ICGEB and the study is published in the October 5th, 2022 Science Advances Issue (Vol 8, No 40), published by the America Association for Advancement of Science.

Click to read the paper here.