PREPARING FOR EMERGING VIRUSES — Sandia researchers, from left, Christine Thatcher, Jennifer Schwedler, Yooli Kim Light, Peter McIlroy and Brooke Harmon have developed a new process of screening for nanobodies that “neutralize” or disable the virus. This process represents a faster, more effective approach to developing nanobody therapies that prevent or treat viral infection.
Sandia research defends against COVID-19, prepares for future pandemics
Researchers at Sandia have created a platform for discovering, designing and engineering novel antibody countermeasures for emerging viruses. This new process of screening for nanobodies that “neutralize” or disable the virus represents a faster, more effective approach to developing nanobody therapies that prevent or treat viral infection.
Traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, nanobodies are smaller components of conventional antibodies — a vital element of the body’s immune system that defends against disease-causing viruses or bacteria.
After screening a large, diverse library of synthetic nanobodies, Sandia researchers identified and evaluated several potent nanobodies that can protect against COVID-19. The scientists now aim to replicate this method to defend against current and future biological threats.
“The coronavirus pandemic has made evident the need for a broad range of preventive and therapeutic strategies to control diseases associated with novel viruses,” said Craig Tewell, director of Sandia’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Energy Technologies Center.
With a rich history of biodefense research, Sandia helps protect the nation and the world from threats presented by bioterrorism and naturally occurring diseases, Craig said.
“With a deep understanding of how infectious disease develops and spreads, as well as how the immune system defends from infection,” Craig said, “our researchers are in a unique position to advance the creation of a wide array of disease-fighting tools, including nanobodies.”
Virologist Brooke Harmon leads Sandia’s nanobody research, a new and growing area of bioscience.
“Vaccines are very good at preventing infection, but they can take a long time to be developed and move through the regulatory process,” Brooke said. “We saw a critical need to create effective therapies that can be rapidly developed and deployed.”
Once the protein sequence, or genetic coding, of a virus has been identified, Sandia researchers have shown they can produce a nanobody-based countermeasure within 90 days. The method has not yet been tested on humans. Speeding up the discovery of neutralizing antibodies could reduce the impact of future viral outbreaks.
“Under current practice, virologists rely upon patients’ blood samples to build an antibody library that we can then screen for potential treatments. This means we have to wait, either for people to become infected or for those who are vaccinated to build an immune response,” Brooke said. “Sandia’s new method is more forward-thinking. Because we have already built a highly diverse, proprietary library, we can begin to screen for extremely potent neutralizing nanobodies as soon as the genetic coding of a virus has been identified.”
Nanobodies’ diverse attributes
Neutralizing nanobodies represents an attractive strategy, Brooke said, due to their ability to work effectively against an entire family of viruses or variants.
“We can take advantage of the fact that virus families tend to interact with immune response in the same way,” Brooke said. “This makes our treatments rapidly adaptable to all variants of a virus.”
Nanobodies are modular, meaning they can be combined with other nanobodies to increase their ability to bind to the virus or target specific tissues. Nanobodies can also be produced as smaller versions of conventional antibodies with the ability to engage the immune response.
Additionally, due to the small size of the nanobodies, they can be released into the blood and penetrate tissues more thoroughly than conventional antibodies. Nanobody therapies can also target an infection site directly, decreasing the dose needed and increasing efficacy.
Nanobodies can also be administered via aerosol, so they can be given to a patient orally or in an inhalable form. Conventional antibody treatments are less versatile and must be received through injection only.
“All of these qualities and features of nanobodies make nanobody therapies more effective than current solutions. These treatments are also easier and cheaper to manufacture,” Brooke said, “making Sandia’s method for developing and characterizing novel neutralizing antibodies an invaluable addition to the toolset for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and future health crises.”
Sandia’s research on nanobodies for emerging viruses received national recognition in October as a recipient of a 2021 R&D 100 Award, which honors the 100 most technologically significant products and advancements in the past year.
This research also received acclamation at the 2021 National Lab Accelerator Pitch Event, where scientists present seasoned investors with business model ideas based on innovations at the DOE laboratories. A video of Sandia’s presentation at the event can be viewed here.
One role of the national laboratories is to develop innovative technologies and commercialize the underlying intellectual property through licensing agreements with companies. The labs also engage the expertise of industry and academia to further develop technology using cooperative research and development agreements. Sandia is currently exploring multiple opportunities for licensing this research and partnering with others in the bio and chemical defense, diagnostics and medical research fields.
Original Article: Neutralizing antibodies for emerging viruses
More from: Sandia National Laboratories
The Latest on: Nanobody therapies
- Unmet Need Remains in iTTP Treatment, but Caplacizumab Could Be Major Step Forwardon May 28, 2022 at 10:31 am
One potential step forward, Scully and colleagues said, is the novel therapy caplacizumab, a humanized Nanobody that binds to von Willebrand factor and inhibits platelet aggregation. Following a phase ...
- Crispred CAR-T Cells In The Clinicon May 19, 2022 at 4:45 am
Caribou has been working on a therapy for B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ... That team expressed an anti-PD-1 nanobody in their anti-CD19 T cells to knock down its function, but this led to ...
- Codiak Presents New Preclinical Data At ASGCT 2022 On Exosome-Based Strategy To Enhance AAV Gene Therapyon May 17, 2022 at 5:36 am
AAV is a commonly used gene therapy vector whose“once and done ... into the lumen of the exosome through the use of a camelid nanobody (VHH) that binds AAV capsids. BASP1-VHH fusions improved ...
- Codiak Presents New Preclinical Data at ASGCT 2022 on Exosome-Based Strategy to Enhance AAV Gene Therapyon May 17, 2022 at 4:32 am
Advisor Insights Personal Finance Market Volatility Retirement Planning Start Investing Save for College Best Investments See All ...
- Codiak Presents New Preclinical Data at ASGCT 2022 on Exosome-Based Strategy to Enhance AAV Gene Therapyon May 17, 2022 at 4:02 am
Codiak BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: CDAK), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of exosome-based therapeutics as a new class of medicines, today announced new ...
- How Nanomedicines can Shape the Future of Glioblastoma Therapyon May 16, 2022 at 3:32 am
In an article recently published in the journal ACS Applied Material Interfaces, the authors summarized glioma stem cell-based therapies and their mechanism of action against GBM, drawing attention to ...
- The incredible antibodies of sharks, llamas and camelson May 16, 2022 at 3:24 am
Sharks and llamas share a strange quirk of their immune systems. Hayley Bennett finds out how their 'nanobodies' could help us tackle Covid and a host of other diseases ...
- Nanobody-based Cancer Therapy of Solid Tumorson May 12, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Research into the application of nanobodies in cancer therapy has resulted in the development of three distinct nanobody-based therapeutic platforms: platform A, naked nanobodies; platform B ...
- MoonLake Immunotherapeutics starts Phase 2 trial of the Nanobody® Sonelokimab in patients with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativaon May 12, 2022 at 4:39 am
First Phase 2 trial in hidradenitis suppurativa using the higher clinical response level of HiSCR75 as the primary endpoint Trial evaluates sonelokimab, an investigational Nanobody ® with an ...
- MoonLake Immunotherapeutics starts Phase 2 trial of the Nanobody® Sonelokimab in patients with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativaon May 12, 2022 at 4:32 am
MoonLake Immunotherapeutics starts Phase 2 trial of the Nanobody®Sonelokimab in patients with ... MLTX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on creating next-level therapies for ...
via Bing News
The Latest on: Nanobody therapies
via Google News