Totient advances anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with funding, partnerships

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 10, 2020 -- Ginkgo Bioworks and artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery firm Totient have partnered to identify antibodies effective against the novel coronavirus and develop associated therapeutics.

The partnership will utilize Ginkgo's bioengineering platform to express and screen thousands of SARS-CoV-2 antibody candidates. It will also adapt and scale Totient's tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs), which were designed for oncology and autoimmunity solutions.

The TLS platform will reconstruct antibodies from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples of patients with COVID-19 at Avera McKennan Hospital in South Dakota. Gingko and Totient hope to identify at least one patient-derived neutralizing antibody to advance into further studies, with the ultimate goal of developing a high-affinity therapeutic.

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