Covid-19 has swept the globe, changing the way we view the world, probably forever. Nearly 34 million people have been infected with the virus. Over a million deaths have been recorded so far.
The pharmaceutical industry has been stung into action to develop both preventative and therapeutic interventions: presently 3,438 clinical studies are underway worldwide and 625 drugs and vaccines are in development.
Clearly, time is not our friend in the fight against the pandemic, which is why methods that accelerate the development of research procedures are of critical importance. In light of this, global biotech company GenScript, which specializes in custom monoclonal antibody generation, has utilized the cutting-edge optofluidic technology of the Beacon® B cell sorting platform and the power of rabbit monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to develop effective solutions.
Using this technology, GenScript discovered several Covid-19 spike protein antibodies that target the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, the mode of action of which enables the virus to infect cells.
Two technologies combined in the fight against Covid-19
Increasingly, the distinct advantages of rabbit mAbs have led to their greater use in all areas of life sciences, from basic research to diagnostics and therapeutics.
Consequently, GenScript developed MonoRab™, a proprietary rabbit antibody generation platform, which can produce mAbs with high specificity, affinity, and sensitivity against a wide range of antigens.
The company has an extensive selection of SARS-CoV-2 control antibodies available on-demand to accelerate the research and development of Covid-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and neutralizing antibody therapies. This makes them well suited for mAb controls for virus neutralization assays, in vitro diagnostic development, as well as vaccine and infectious disease research.
The Beacon® platform
Beacon® is an optofluidics system, meaning it uses light to control fluid flow at a micrometer level, to rapidly process and analyze cells.
It has two major advantages over its competitors. First is its speed, which can perform mAb screening in just 24 hours compared with two to three months using hybridoma/display library screening methods. The second is its capacity to discover a diverse antibody repertoire – where other antibody generation platforms traditionally fall short.
Other notable features include cutting-edge technology to maximize the chances of locating the desired antibody; fast-track antibody discovery to shorten time investment; a streamlined automated workflow and platform; and high-diversity, high-specificity reagent antibodies.
The value of MonoRab™ allied with the Beacon® platform
The distinct natural features of rabbits mean that they are the preferred species for generating mAbs. Rabbits are able to generate highly diverse antibodies against antigens that are normally nonimmunogenic in mice. Indeed, rabbit products can have up to 100-fold higher affinity for their target antigen than mice.
Using GenScript’s MonoRab™, in combination with Beacon®, the research process for high-quality rabbit antibody generation, which would have otherwise taken three months using the traditional hybridoma method, can take just 24 hours.
An experienced player in the antibodies field
GenScript’s sector expertise means it is well placed to confront Covid-19. GenScript’s marketing director, Jungsoo Park, said: “Our antibody service is cited in a lot of research papers, in other words, our antibodies successfully contributed to many research projects.”
In the pandemic’s early days, many of GenScript’s scientists set their usual research aside and got together to focus on the development of a Covid-19 solution. Hence, less than two weeks after the viral genome sequence was released by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control, GenScript released a SARS-CoV-2 detection assay for initial screening.
The company credits this rapid development to the cPass detection kit, which enables the detection of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Compared with existing real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests, cPass is able to tell a person’s immunity (chance of future reinfection) by measuring the presence of neutralizing antibodies.
The scientists performed research to characterize the structure, function, and antigenicity of proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Consequently, GenScript successfully expressed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 proteins to expedite the development of therapies or further study viruses.
GenScript’s custom generation antibody service represents a one-stop-shop for high-quality antibody production. It has over 14 years of experience in generating over 50,000 custom antibodies for its customers, producing high-specificity monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies for applications ranging from basic research to in vitro diagnostics and therapeutics.
Park stated: “We offer flexibility in our highly tailored services for our antibody generation services to ensure we meet the research needs of our customers. We also make sure we deliver the antibodies within the guaranteed turnaround time. We produce all the off-the-shelf products in house, so we can ensure the quality of our products.”
Covid-19 is testing the whole planet. Healthcare, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies continue to strive to find a cure. GenScript – the only contract research organization to perform antibody discovery using rabbit antibodies and the Beacon® system – will endeavor to find a breakthrough.
Author: Andy McCulloch, Freelance Writer and Senior Editor
Images via GenScript & Shutterstock.com