The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has a significant impact on global health, travel and economy. Therefore, preventative and therapeutic measures are urgently needed. Here, we isolated monoclonal antibodies from three convalescent COVID-19 patients using a SARS-CoV-2 stabilized prefusion spike protein. These antibodies had low levels of somatic hypermutation and showed a strong enrichment in VH1-69, VH3-30-3 and VH1-24 gene usage. A subset of the antibodies were able to potently inhibit authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection as low as 0.007 μg/mL.
Competition and electron microscopy studies illustrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein contains multiple distinct antigenic sites, including several receptor-binding domain (RBD) epitopes as well as non-RBD epitopes. In addition to providing guidance for vaccine design, the antibodies describes here are promising candidates for COVID-19 treatment and prevention.
PJM Brouwer et al. Potent neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients define multiple targets of vulnerability. Science, manuscript submitted.