PHILADELPHIA – Integral Molecular announces the launch of SARS-CoV-2 Reporter Virus Particles (RVPs) to test patients for the presence of neutralizing antibodies, determine the effectiveness of vaccines, and measure the efficacy of drugs to enable expedited testing of new vaccines and therapeutics. As part of its commitment to supporting COVID-19 research, Integral Molecular will provide scientists with access to samples of SARS-CoV-2 RVPs at no cost.
Traditional diagnostic blood tests can only detect the presence or absence of antibodies. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 RVPs assess the ability of antibodies to neutralize (block) virus infection. This distinction is crucial since neutralizing antibodies are the ones that typically offer protection from disease. SARS-CoV-2 RVPs eliminate the need to use live virus for neutralization assays and are safe using standard (BSL-2) laboratory conditions, quantitative, and amenable to high-throughput screening.
“With 20 years of virology experience, Integral Molecular is the industry leader in providing RVPs for therapeutic antibody development and vaccine clinical trials,” said Benjamin Doranz, President and CEO of Integral Molecular. “Like our other reporter viruses, we expect that coronavirus RVPs will be used to determine if serum from vaccinees contain protective antibodies, if new therapeutic antibodies can kill the virus, and if convalescent COVID-19 patients have protective serum that can be used in therapy.”
SARS-CoV-2 RVPs contain the coronavirus spike protein, which is the primary target of the human immune response, and carry a non-infectious genome that produces an easily measured fluorescent or light emitting signal upon cellular infection. Integral Molecular has extensive experience producing large-scale batches of quality-controlled RVPs for dengue and Zika viruses (Mattia et al., 2011, and Whitbeck et al., 2020), which are being used as critical reagents in vaccine clinical trials.
Integral Molecular has already begun shipping SARS-CoV-2 RVPs to partners, and will be discussing the SARS-CoV-2 reporter viruses at a webinar on May 12. Partners interested in using SARS-CoV-2 RVPs for their research or diagnostic assays should contact Integral Molecular.
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.