Candidate: VH-Fc ab8 (Ab8)

Type: Antibody component consisting of variable, heavy chain (VH) domain of immunoglobulin (human IgG1) in an Fc (crystallizable fragment) fusion format

Status: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine investigators and research collaborators from three other academic institutions published a study in Cell on September 4 showing that Ab8 showed potent neutralization activity and specificity against SARS-CoV-2 both in vitro and in mouse and hamster models.

“There was complete neutralization of infectious virus at the highest dose of 36 mg/kg, and statistically significant reduction by 1000-fold at 8 mg/kg. Remarkably, even at the lowest dose of 2 mg/kg it significantly decreased virus titer by 10- fold,” the researchers reported.

The Pitt researchers studied Ab8 with scientists from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, The University of British Columbia, and University of Saskatchewan.

Ab8 is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody—a size that according to the Pitt researchers not only increases its potential for diffusion in tissues to better neutralize the virus, but also enables administration of the drug by inhalation or other alternative means.

COVID-19: 300 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >300 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data.

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.

TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.

GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types: