Authors: Francesca Lake, Future Science Group
New SARS-CoV-2 variants mean new neutralizing antibodies to deal with them.
With the COVID-19 pandemic on its third wave in some countries, the rise of variants has triggered a new wave of research into neutralizing antibodies, in a bid to maintain – or at least gain – control of the virus.
The new variants exhibit mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein, which has been a mainstay for drug developers thus far. Studies have demonstrated that neutralizing antibodies are less efficacious against variants with mutations in the RBD – which include the B.1.1.7 (first identified in the UK), B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa) and P.1 (first identified in Brazil) lineages.