A major breakthrough in the research of new coronavirus antibodies

- Jul 24, 2020-

Chinese scientists have made a major breakthrough in the research of new coronavirus antibodies. A team led by Chen Wei, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and researcher of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, has discovered the first highly efficient neutralizing monoclonal protein targeting the N-terminal domain of spike protein antibody.

At 22:00 Beijing time on June 22nd, the international top academic journal "Science" published the research results online. This is another world-class scientific research achievement after the adenovirus vector recombinant new crown vaccine developed by Chen Wei's team first entered the Phase II clinical trial in the world. The first authors of the paper are Chi Xiangyang, Yan Renhong and Zhang Jun; the corresponding authors are Chen Wei, Zhou Qiang and Li Jianmin.

At present, the epidemic of New Coronary Pneumonia is raging all over the world. The development of safe and effective vaccines and antibodies is a major challenge facing scientists in various countries. Vaccines are used for the prevention of healthy people, and neutralizing antibodies are used for the specific treatment of patients. . Since the outbreak of the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic, Academician Chen Wei went to Wuhan for the first time, leading the team to carry out emergency scientific research on pathogenic transmission variation, rapid detection technology, vaccine antibody development, etc., and achieved a series of important scientific research results

Neutralizing antibodies are a class of antibodies with protective effects produced by the body in response to antigen stimulation. At present, the scientific design and mechanism research of new coronaviruses by various scientific research teams all over the world are focused on the receptor binding domain of the new coronavirus spike protein, while the team of Chen Wei has recognized the N-terminal domain of the spike protein by the efficient neutralization After cloning the antibody, it was found that the N-terminal domain is a new vulnerable epitope of the spike protein of the new coronavirus, which provides a new effective target for the design of therapeutic antibodies and other drugs.

  Chen Wei team and West Lake University Zhou Qiang team used cryo-electron microscopy technology to analyze the interaction interface between antibody and spike protein with high precision, which provided key information for elucidating its antiviral mechanism. The antibody can exert a high level of virus neutralization when used alone, and can also be used in combination with an antibody against the receptor binding domain as an efficient "cocktail" therapy. This provides a powerful candidate for the treatment of new coronary pneumonia. It also provides a new idea for the design of drugs and epitope vaccines targeting the N-terminal domain of spike protein, and the mechanism of action of new coronavirus.