This could lead to a widely effective cure for COVID.
In the study, published Tuesday by researchers from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and a host of other medical schools and institutes (all listed at the top of the paper they published), the researchers explain how they used a cryo-electron 50 microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine how human antibody 35B5 neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 by targeting a 51 unique epitope that avoids the prevailing mutation sites on RBD identified not just in the original "wild" strain of COVID (which initially emerged from Wuhan) but also all the circulating VOCs. The researchers said this antibody could be exploited to create a new vaccine that's more effective at protecting against various strains of the virus.
Or perhaps even new antibody therapies that could offer even stronger protection to the vulnerable than Merck' molnupiravir.
RT explained that "pan-neutralizing efficacy" means the antibody has the capacity to suppress not just the original COVID, but also all the existing variants and potentially even more variants that haven't yet developed. Right now, it appears the antibody targets aspects of the virus that haven't been impacted by the mutations.
These findings, the scientists argue, could be "exploited for the rational design of a universal SARS-CoV-2 [Covid-19] vaccine."
And while they haven't tested the antibody against the omicron variant, the researchers said that the characteristics of the omicron variant suggest it also has the characteristics that 35B5 requires to suppress the virus.