EIDB is leading efforts to develop antibody products that detect, prevent and treat COVID-19.
Dr. Shelly Krebs’ B cell biology group is leading the effort to identify and characterize mAbs, a type of immunotherapy that may have applications for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. WRAIR has proven experience in this area, having successfully isolated mAbs for other viral pathogens.
Under leadership from EIDB, the Krebs lab is working on ways to use mAbs to:
- Prevent COVID infection in the absence of a vaccine
- Contribute to immunoassay development to help diagnose the disease
- Develop treatment options that could blunt disease severity
Monoclonal antibodies have a long history in the treatment of chronic diseases and are rapidly becoming an important countermeasure for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Individuals who recovered from COVID-19 likely mounted an immune response that helped them recover. By isolating mAbs from these individuals, the Krebs lab is trying to identify key components of their immune response that can be used to help others who don’t mount a protective response to defeat the virus.
EIDB is also using the WRAIR vaccine in a collaboration with the University of Maryland to investigate the specificity and potency of nano-bodies generated by sharks after vaccinations. Shark antibodies are more flexible and may bind and block parts of the virus more easily. Scientists continue to explore these antibodies’ potential to neutralize the virus.