Now that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak has been declared a “public health emergency of international concern” by the WHO, scientists worldwide are being pressured to develop a treatment.
So what’s the first step? Existing antibodies developed for the 2002 SARS strain present opportunities for immediate deployment. Antibodies to SARS, like our Anti-SARS-CoV Membrane Protein or Anti-SARS-CoV Nucleocapsid Protein may provide the means of detection with the current strain because of their high homology—particularly the sequences within the membrane and nucleocapsid.
For SARS, the ACE2 receptor was identified as a mechanism by which the SARS virus entered cells—and although ACE2 hasn’t been definitively determined as the sole means of entry for the current strain, our antibodies against ACE2 can play a critical piece in understanding the mechanism of infection.
The biomedical community is working urgently to develop novel antibodies specific for 2019-nCov using engineered immunogens; both polyclonal and monoclonal. Our unparalleled experience generating SARS antibodies can be leveraged in the development of products and services that support the study of 2019-nCov. Even after new antibodies specific for 2019-nCov are produced, existing antibodies against SARS epitopes should be used as a positive control in various immunoassays, including binding proxy assays.
For speed and risk mitigation purposes, institutions should consider novel 2019-nCoV antibody production at more than one facility. This provides for variation in antibody performance and timing, which is critical for the rapid development of antibodies suitable for functional studies like neutralization and receptor identification.
So tell us… how can we help you help the world in fighting this infectious disease outbreak?