Antibody Therapeutics, 2021
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Abstract As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, hundreds of new initiatives including studies on existing medicines are running to fight the disease. To deliver a potentially immediate and lasting treatment to current and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, new collaborations and ways of sharing are required to create as many paths forward as possible. Here we leverage our expertise in computational antibody engineering to rationally design/engineer three previously reported SARS-CoV neutralizing antibodies and share our proposal towards anti-SARS-CoV-2 biologics therapeutics. SARS-CoV neutralizing antibodies, m396, 80R, and CR-3022 were chosen as templates due to their diversified epitopes and confirmed neutralization potency against SARS-CoV (but not SARS-CoV-2 except for CR3022). Structures of variable fragment (Fv) in complex with receptor binding domain (RBD) from SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 were subjected to our established in silico antibody engineering platform to improve their binding affinity to SARS-CoV-2 and developability profiles. The selected top mutations were ensembled into a focused library for each antibody for further screening. In addition, we convert the selected binders with different epitopes into the trispecific format, aiming to increase potency and to prevent mutational escape. Lastly, to avoid antibody induced virus activation or enhancement, we suggest application of NNAS and DQ mutations to the Fc region to eliminate effector functions and extend half-life.