Chester County-based Biopharmaceutical Company Discovers Antibodies Capable of Neutralizing Multiple SARS-CoV-2 Variants

coronavirusImage via Pixabay

EXTON, PA — Immunome, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMNM), a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its human memory B cell platform to discover and develop first-in-class antibody therapeutics, announced that its discovery engine has isolated potent antibodies capable of neutralizing several SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the South African Variant (B.1.351), in pseudovirus testing.

This effort is part of the company’s ongoing program to develop a cocktail of antibodies targeting spike and non-spike proteins that can serve as a prophylaxis or a treatment for COVID-19. Immunome’s COVID-19 antibody research demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 “super-responders” who recover from SARS-CoV-2 mount a robust immune response to a broad range of viral targets, including spike and non-spike proteins (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.27.428534v1).

As part of developing our antibody cocktail (IMM-BCP-001), Immunome has identified antibodies that bind to non-overlapping regions of the spike protein, including those regions containing the critical mutational variants. Immunome’s research shows that certain of our antibodies neutralize pseudoviruses expressing the spike protein of the South African Variant (B.1.351). Recent literature suggests that this South African Variant reduces the effectiveness of certain vaccines and antibody therapies (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.25.427948v1https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.25.428137v2).

Purnanand Sarma, PhD, CEO of Immunome, said, “Our findings underscore the power of Immunome’s discovery engine to quickly identify antibodies that are broadly effective against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Of note, Immunome’s discovery engine has identified antibodies that bind to conserved epitopes of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 spike, as well as to other non-spike targets. We believe that our comprehensive strategy could combat the negative impact of escape mutants. We are encouraged by these results and plan to continue development efforts on these antibodies.”

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Jeffrey P Henderson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a member of Immunome’s COVID-19 Advisory Board, said, “Interrogating the overall immune responses in recovered COVID-19 patients allows Immunome to identify not only broadly neutralizing anti-spike antibodies but also promising non-spike antibodies that have the potential to enhance viral clearance. Broadly targeting multiple viral proteins in this way may provide alternative approaches to combat future SARS-CoV-2 variants.”

In July 2020, Immunome was awarded a $13.3 million technology award from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND), in collaboration with the Defense Health Agency, to support Immunome’s COVID program. The research discussed in this press release and the article is part of that program.

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