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Front Immunol ; 11: 598402, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045523


COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is characterized by dysregulation of effector T cells and accumulation of exhausted T cells. T cell responses to viruses can be corrected by adoptive cellular therapy using donor-derived virus-specific T cells. One approach is the establishment of banks of HLA-typed virus-specific T cells for rapid deployment to patients. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2-exposed blood donations contain CD4 and CD8 memory T cells which recognize SARS-CoV-2 spike, nucleocapsid and membrane antigens. Peptides of these antigens can be used to isolate virus-specific T cells in a GMP-compliant process. The isolated T cells can be rapidly expanded using GMP-compliant reagents for use as an allogeneic therapy. Memory and effector phenotypes are present in the selected virus-specific T cells, but our method rapidly expands the desirable central memory phenotype. A manufacturing yield ranging from 1010 to 1011 T cells can be obtained within 21 days culture. Thus, multiple therapeutic doses of virus-specific T cells can be rapidly generated from convalescent donors for potential treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Allogeneic Cells/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Immunotherapy, Adoptive , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
Euro Surveill ; 25(42)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-886128


BackgroundThe progression and geographical distribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere is unknown because typically only symptomatic individuals are diagnosed. We performed a serological study of blood donors in Scotland in the spring of 2020 to detect neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as a marker of past infection and epidemic progression.AimOur objective was to determine if sera from blood bank donors can be used to track the emergence and progression of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.MethodsA pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus microneutralisation assay was used to detect neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. The study comprised samples from 3,500 blood donors collected in Scotland between 17 March and 18 May 2020. Controls were collected from 100 donors in Scotland during 2019.ResultsAll samples collected on 17 March 2020 (n = 500) were negative in the pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 virus microneutralisation assay. Neutralising antibodies were detected in six of 500 donors from 23 to 26 March. The number of samples containing neutralising antibodies did not significantly rise after 5-6 April until the end of the study on 18 May. We found that infections were concentrated in certain postcodes, indicating that outbreaks of infection were extremely localised. In contrast, other areas remained comparatively untouched by the epidemic.ConclusionAlthough blood donors are not representative of the overall population, we demonstrated that serosurveys of blood banks can serve as a useful tool for tracking the emergence and progression of an epidemic such as the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , Adult , COVID-19 , Cluster Analysis , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Geography, Medical , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Male , Models, Immunological , Neutralization Tests , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Urban Population
Chemical & Engineering News ; 98(35):15-15, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-880089
C&EN Global Enterprise ; 98(38):13-13, 2020.
Article in English | ACS | ID: covidwho-841849


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has offered a first glimpse at data from closely watched studies of REGN-COV2, its antibody therapy for . Although not a home run, the results do provide insight into where antibodies might fit into the treatment landscape for the disease. Regeneron’s drug is a cocktail of two antibodies that bind to the spike protein in different spots of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The virus uses the spike to latch onto human cells before dumping its genetic payload inside. Clinical trials of the treatment, which began in June, have enrolled some 2,000 people. The first data came from 275 people whose infection had not yet put them in the hospital. Out of that group, the drug appeared to be most effective in people whose immune systems were not yet kicking in to produce antibodies to clear the virus. The question now is whether that is enough for the [...]

Chemical & Engineering News ; 98(24):3-3, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-635288