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Authors: Wei Li et al.

Link to paper:

Journal/ Pre-Print: pre-print, posted on bioRxiv on 14th May 2020

Tags: Immunology/Immunity, Clinical/ Diagnostics, Therapeutics

Research Highlights

1. Fully human monoclonal IgG1 Ab against spike RBD generated using phage display can neutralize SARS-Cov2 in vitro and protect from viral challenge in a mouse model of infection.


In this study authors describe generation of human monoclonal IgG1 antibody neutralizing SARS-Cov2. The Ab was selected by phage display from a large human naïve library using the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as bait. Selected Ab can block binding of RBD to ACE2 receptor and neutralize the virus in vitro. Administration of the Ab to hACE2 transgenic mice prior to challenge with SARS-Cov2 produces a protective effect. The authors describe relatively few somatic mutations and speculate this could allow rapid elicitation of a response.

Impact for SARS-CoV2/COVID19 research efforts

Develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV2/COVID19

Inhibit SARS-CoV2/COVID19 transmission

Treat SARS-CoV2/COVID19 positive individuals

Study Type

· In vitro study

· In vivo study (hACE2 transgenic mouse model)

Strengths and limitations of the paper

Novelty: Rapid selection of human antibodies from a large library allows rapid pandemic responsiveness

Neutralizing monoclonal SARS-Cov-2 RBD-specific Abs have been reported a number of times already.

Standing in the field: Not controversial.

Appropriate statistics: Yes.

Viral model used: SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV as control

Full-length viruses expressing luciferase (SARS-CoV-2-SeattlenLuc and SARS-CoV-UrbaninLuc) used in one of the two neutralization assays performed

Translatability: There is potential for translation into clinical application.

Main limitations: Neutralization data presented in a somewhat confusing way

Only n = 5 in the in vivo experiment with no protective effect in 1 of the animals, however result still statistically significant.