Partnering with University of Zurich on SARS-CoV-2 Synthetic Nanobodies

We’re excited to announce a partnership with University of Zurich to offer synthetic nanobodies against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Under the partnership, the original nanobodies and newly engineered formats are now available to the global research community for use as serological controls and in COVID-19 therapeutic development. The synthetic nanobodies possess particular promise for the development of inhalable drugs, which could offer a convenient treatment option for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nanobodies are small antibody fragments that can reach previously inaccessible parts of the body due to their compact size. Researchers are exploring their potential as inhalable COVID-19 drugs, which would be easier to administer and reach patients’ lungs faster than other treatment formulations. The laboratory of Markus Seeger at University of Zurich developed a rapid in vitro selection platform to generate synthetic nanobodies, known as sybodies, against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2. Within a two-week timeframe, the lab had identified more than 60 unique anti-RBD sybodies from combinatorial display libraries.

Further research showed that six of the sybodies bound SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with very high affinity, while five of those also inhibited ACE2, the host cell receptor to which SARS-CoV-2 binds to initiate COVID-19 infection. Moreover, two of the sybodies can simultaneously bind the RBD, which could enable the construction of a polyvalent antiviral drug. The SARS-CoV-2 sybodies are therefore valuable tools for coronavirus research, diagnostics and therapeutic development, and the panel is now available to researchers worldwide via Absolute Antibody’s online catalog.

Our team recombinantly produces the SARS-CoV-2 synthetic nanobodies for ensured batch-to-batch reproducibility, high purity and low endotoxin levels. In addition, we’ve used antibody engineering to fuse the nanobodies to Fc domains in different species, isotypes and subtypes. These recombinant engineered antibodies extend the applications of the sybodies by varying effector function and permitting increased half-life in in vivo studies. Available formats include:

  • Human IgG1, IgG3, IgM and IgA fusions, for use as serological controls
  • Mouse IgG1 and Rabbit IgG fusions, for use in detection applications, co-labelling studies and animal model research
  • The recombinantly produced nanobodies (VHH only antibodies)

We are starting by offering the below six clones. If you’d like the clones in another format, or would like another nanobody clone from the Seeger laboratory panel, please contact us. If you’re looking for additional coronavirus-related reagents, view our full list here. Our catalog includes a variety of engineered reagents for COVID-19 research, including SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and nucleoprotein antibodies, ACE2 Fc fusion proteins, and anti-human immunoglobulin antibodies for use in diagnostic tests.

Clone NameCatalog Number
Anti-Spike protein (RBD) [Sb#14]Ab02012
Anti-Spike protein (RBD) [Sb#15]Ab02013
Anti-Spike protein (RBD) [Sb#16]Ab02014
Anti-Spike protein (RBD) [Sb#42]Ab02015
Anti-Spike protein (RBD) [Sb#45]Ab02016
Anti-Spike protein (RBD) [Sb#68]Ab02017

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