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Twist Bioscience antibodies show encouraging action against SARS-CoV-2

September 2, 2020

Twist Bioscience (NASDAQ:TWST) announces encouraging in vitro study data on immunoglobulin (IgG) and smaller single domain VHH “nanobodies” (antigen-binding fragments of heavy chain-only antibodies) against SARS-CoV-2. The observed neutralizing effects were comparable to or better than convalescent sera collected from people who recovered from COVID-19. The studies were conducted at Saint Louis University and results verified at Colorado State University.

The studies tested more than 200 well-characterized monoclonal antibodies and VHH nanobodies identified by the company in six weeks using its proprietary synthetic antibody discovery libraries, each containing more than 10B antibody sequences.

CEO Emily Leproust says, “These data are encouraging and provide powerful validation of our ability to generate well characterized and potent antibodies from our proprietary libraries. Importantly, the neutralizing effects seen in these in vitro studies suggest that infections in humans could be blocked. We are now evaluating the best path forward for these neutralizing antibodies to support the fight against COVID-19.”

Saint Louis University, School of Medicine’s James Brien, Ph.D., adds, “All antibodies moving through clinical development for the treatment of COVID-19 are full IgG antibodies and already show promise in early studies. The single domain (VHH) nanobodies included in these neutralization assays may represent a different therapeutic path to treat the disease. Given their very small size in comparison to IgG antibodies, they may be able to access epitopes on the virus that are unavailable to full IgGs.”

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