Skip to main content

Project C4: Alexandra Bittner, doctoral researcher (MD)

Characterization of Bispecific IgG Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

A new viral pandemic requires the rapid development of new vaccines and therapeutics. One of the most potent therapeutics is a monoclonal antibody that can quickly be produced from reconvalescent patients, phage libraries, or pathogen-immunized human antibody mice. One of the bottlenecks of antibodies as therapeutics is their tedious and costly production, especially of two individual antibodies. One solution is to craft the antigen-binding sites into one IgG or IgA molecule for intravenous and oral applications. Numerous bispecific antibody formats for treating tumors and inflammatory diseases have already been described.

This project now aims to compare bispecific and monospecific antibodies against SAR-CoV-2.

Therefore, human monoclonal antibodies with non-overlapping epitopes and broad neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 were produced. Two of the antibodies that recognize and neutralize different SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern have been assembled into bispecific constructs.

This research project examines whether these three bispecific antibodies are as efficient or even better than their parental monospecific IgG antibodies.

Specific Aims:

  1. Determine the affinity of bispecific antibodies to spike proteins compared to monospecific antibodies.
  2. Compare the neutralization capacity of bi- and monospecific antibodies.

We expect our bispecific antibodies to bind and neutralize more effectively than their respective parental monospecific antibodies. These results will allow us to start a clinical study to test how effectively the bispecific antibodies prevent or treat infections in vulnerable patients.