Developing a new antibody therapy for coronavirus

Professor Xiao-Ning Xu, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Imperial College London

The researchers leading the nCoV study will develop antibodies that target the novel coronavirus, with the aim of developing a new therapy for COVID-19.

Antibodies are molecules produced by the body’s immune system that can specifically recognise and bind to structures, such as those on the surface of a virus, to stop the virus from entering cells and instruct the immune system to destroy it.

The team has already identified some antibodies that might bind to proteins from the COVID-19 coronavirus (CoV-bnMABs). In collaboration with China, the researchers will use these in this project to develop a potential antibody therapy, with the aim of getting the therapy to the stage where it is ready to enter clinical trials to determine if it can treat a range of coronavirus infections.

George Vasilopoulos