UCSF

‘AeroNabs’ promise powerful, inhalable protection against COVID-19

As COVID-19 hit and UCSF labs shut down, the Manglik and Walter labs got to work using nanobodies (camelid-derived antibodies) to counter the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Biophysics student Bryan Faust is one of the co-first authors on the resulting study. Bryan and other Manglik lab members are also part of the larger QBI Coronavirus Research Group Structural Biology Consortium, which knits together UCSF structural biology labs and determined the X-ray and CryoEM structures that revealed the basis for the potency of the nanobodies in atomic detail. The resulting preprint represents an enormous team effort spanning our shelter-in-place order to our new normal and demonstrates that the nanobodies are highly expressed, are extremely stable, and can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture.

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An ultra-high affinity synthetic nanobody blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection by locking Spike into an inactive conformation (bioRxiv)

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About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.