PHILADELPHIA – Integral Molecular has launched an expanded panel of SARS-CoV-2 Reporter Virus Particles (RVP), which includes spike protein variants such as D614G and spike protein from other related coronaviruses. These variants will test the breadth of protection afforded by COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines against newly emerging or resistant strains of the virus. Virus neutralization testing using RVPs is being adopted by vaccine companies for screening sera from clinical trials to provide rapid and safe testing under standard BSL-2 laboratory conditions.
Viruses mutate and change over time and these mutations can compromise the efficacy of drugs or vaccines through resistance. For example, the D614G variant of SARS-CoV-2, mutated at position 614 of the spike protein, has quickly become the dominant form of the virus in many parts of the world and may have a higher transmission rate than the original virus. As novel or resistant strains emerge, it is critical to keep pace with the changing virus, test for effectiveness against evolving strains, and adapt therapeutics and vaccines accordingly.
“To get ahead of this pandemic, we need to start planning now for how the virus will look tomorrow,” said Benjamin Doranz, President and CEO of Integral Molecular. “Our reporter virus system is extremely agile and RVPs have been rapidly engineered to incorporate emerging sequence variants to provide timely support for drug and vaccine development.”
SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to other coronaviruses that also cause severe illnesses, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) virus. Integral Molecular’s suite of pseudotyped coronavirus RVPs enables neutralization tests against all three coronaviruses and can be used to identify broadly neutralizing vaccines or therapeutics that have the potential to protect against multiple pathogens.
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 300 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue.