In the framework of the CoVER-Ab project, human monoclonal and neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are to be extracted initially. These antibodies are then checked for their anti-viral effectiveness in cell cultures and a selection of these is then examined for effectiveness and safety in a transgenic mouse model and a rhesus monkey model.
The CoVER-Ab project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and led by the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). In addition, Erlangen University Hospital (Universitätsklinikum Erlangen UKER), the Göttingen-based German Primate Centre and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI are also involved in the research project. In this study, the Preclinical Validation Unit will establish the infection model with ACE-2 transgenic mice in which the animals will be infected with different doses of SARS-CoV-2. During the subsequent effectiveness and safety testing, the antibodies are administered before and after an infection to evaluate the protection level against SARS-CoV-2.
The envisaged antibodies would then permit passive vaccination in humans - which could be used, in particular, for special risk groups until an active vaccine becomes available.