Research Article

Ultrapotent human antibodies protect against SARS-CoV-2 challenge via multiple mechanisms

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Science  24 Sep 2020:
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe3354


Efficient therapeutic options are needed to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 that has caused more than 922,000 fatalities as of September 13th, 2020. We report the isolation and characterization of two ultrapotent SARS-CoV-2 human neutralizing antibodies (S2E12 and S2M11) that protect hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Cryo-electron microscopy structures show that S2E12 and S2M11 competitively block ACE2 attachment and that S2M11 also locks the spike in a closed conformation by recognition of a quaternary epitope spanning two adjacent receptor-binding domains. Cocktails including S2M11, S2E12 or the previously identified S309 antibody broadly neutralize a panel of circulating SARS-CoV-2 isolates and activate effector functions. Our results pave the way to implement antibody cocktails for prophylaxis or therapy, circumventing or limiting the emergence of viral escape mutants.

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