MAbs against COVID-19 Developed by IMCAS Researchers published in NATURE


COVID-19 has spread rapidly in the world, and the number of infected people has exceeded 20 millions. Scientists all over the world are making efforts to find effective drugs against the virus, but there is still no specific drug approved for COVID-19. Neutralizing antibody is a specific immunoglobulin that targets pathogens and blocks pathogens from invading cells.

Since mid-January, Institute of Microbiology, CAS has rapidly organized a number of scientific and technological teams to fight COVID-19. Professor Jinghua Yan, Fu George Gao and other researchers brought the full force of their scientific and medical expertise to attack COVID-19. Dozens of fully human MAbs genes were isolated and identified from convalescent patients of COVID-19. After repeated tests and comparisons, two ideally specific MAbs were screened out with highly effective neutralization of SARS-CoV-2, in late-February. The research team assessed the potencies of the MAbs by using the rhesus monkey model. The results showed that the neutralizing MAbs effectively blocked the infection of SARS-CoV-2, significantly reduced the load of the new coronavirus in the respiratory tract of rhesus monkey, and protected lung damage caused by virus infection. The article was published in Nature on August 6th.

On June 5, 2020, the NMPA officially approved the clinical trials for a fully human MAb against COVID-19 developed by the scientific research team of the Institute of Microbiology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Phase I clinical trial will carry out to test safety and appropriate doses in healthy people. This is also the first clinical trial of therapeutic MAb in healthy people after evaluated in non-human primate model in the world. This indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 specific MAb with independent intellectual property rights in China has successfully entered the human clinical evaluation stage.