Using 3D-Printed Synthetic Human Lymph Nodes, Prellis Biologics Generates 300 Human Antibodies That Bind SARS-CoV-2 Virus; Company Pursuing Development of Treatment and Preventative Therapy for COVID-19 Infection

On May 19, 2020, Prellis Biologics, Inc., announced that it has generated 300 human IgG antibodies that bind to either the S1 or S2 spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2-Wuhan strain of the novel coronavirus. Using the Prellis Externalized Human Immune System™ technology, the team produced 960 synthetic human lymph nodes that were challenged with a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-like cocktail, leading to virus-specific antibody generation. “Three hundred virus-specific IgG antibodies is a tremendous number to have at this stage. Our pipeline for class-switched antibodies has produced an order of magnitude larger pool than the typical antibody development program,” said Erin Stephens, PhD, Director of Tissue Engineering at Prellis. Prellis Biologics first built bioactive synthetic human lymph nodes in 2017, demonstrating their potential by producing human antibodies against the Zika virus. Notably, the process does not require an infected donor, extensive screening, or generation of antibodies in animals, dramatically reducing the time to produce a targeted library of candidate antibodies to less than one month. Prellis Bio recently closed a $4.3 million investment round led by Future Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and IndieBio to support the development of human anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. “We funded the formation of an army of synthetic human lymph nodes to identify antibody therapies for SARS-CoV-2 and potentially all new pandemic diseases, both viral and bacterial,” said Steve Jurvetson, co-founder of Future Ventures. “It’s like having a surrogate human immune system from hundreds of people without needing to sample from infected patients, offering a rapid response procedure for any pathogen.”

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