AvantGen announces licensing agreement for SARS-COV-2 antibody clones

Jan. 13, 2021

AvantGen announced licensing of a panel of its anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody clones to IGM Biosciences for COVID-19 therapy development, according to a press release.

AvantGen, based in San Diego, has identified a panel of high-affinity human monoclonal antibody clones that bind to two distinct epitopes on the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Upon binding, the antibodies block the spike protein from interacting with ACE2 and prevent virus-induced cell-killing, also known as cytopathic effect. In addition, one group of antibody clones can also block ACE2’s interaction with SARS-CoV-1, indicating that the epitope recognized by this group of clones is conserved between SARS-CoV-1 and -2, potentially conferring broader neutralizing activity against this family of coronaviruses.

Under the licensing agreement, AvantGen grants IGM Biosciences – based in Mountain View, CA – the rights to convert the antibody clones into IgA or IgM format for further development for the treatment of COVID-19.

In a recognized animal model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, AvantGen’s lead candidate antibody has been shown to significantly reduce viral load in, and macrophage infiltration of, the lungs, as well as reduce disease severity. These findings have been published in Frontiers in Immunology.

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