‘Super-antibodies’ could curb COVID-19 and help avert future pandemics

Companies are designing next-generation antibodies modeled on those taken from unique individuals whose immune systems can neutralize any COVID-19 variant—and related coronaviruses, too.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in late May to sotrovimab, providing a new therapeutic weapon in the fight against SARS-CoV-2—and future coronaviruses with pandemic potential.

According to analysts and researchers alike, so-called super-antibodies such as sotrovimab should have an edge over first-generation monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies for COVID-19 because of their broad neutralization capacity in the face of emerging virus variants. “Physicians aren’t going to sequence what version of the virus people have, so they’ll go for the antibodies that have the higher barrier to resistance or the ones that work on [known] variants,” says Phil Nadeau, an analyst at Cowen.