Antibody (S309) from 2003 SARS Survivor Neutralizes SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 by Blocking Attachment of Viral Spike Protein to Human Host Cell Receptor

An antibody first identified in a blood sample from a patient who recovered from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 inhibits related coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, according to a new report in Nature. The antibody, called S309, is now on a fast-track development and testing path at Vir Biotechnology ( in the next step toward possible clinical trials. Laboratory research findings on the S309 antibody were reported online on May 18, 2020, in Nature. The article is titled: "Cross-Neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a Human Monoclonal SARS-CoV Antibody” ( The senior authors on the paper are David Veesler, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Davide Corti, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Humabs Biomed SA, a subsidiary of Vir Biotechnology. The lead authors are Dora Pinto and Martina Beltramello of Humabs, as well as Young-Jun Park and Lexi Walls, research scientists in the Veesler lab, which for several years has been studying the structure and function of the infection mechanisms of a variety of coronaviruses. "We still need to show that this antibody is protective in living systems, which has not yet been done," Dr. Veesler said. "Right now, there are no approved tools or licensed therapeutics proven to fight against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19," he added. If the S309 antibody is shown to work against the novel coronavirus in people, it could become part of the pandemic armamentarium. Dr. Veesler said that his lab is not the only one seeking neutralizing antibodies for COVID 19 treatment.
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