20th May 2020
Our success continues. Towards the end of last week, we showed that the lab team had successfully isolated a population of aptamers which have preferential binding to the spike protein (S1) from SARS-CoV-2. While the aptamer population did show some interaction with the spike proteins from SARS and MERS; the interaction was significantly stronger with the spike from SARS-CoV-2 which is indicative of a population consisting of individual aptamers which are specific and others which are cross reactive.
Yet again we are incredibly proud of the technical team for pulling out all the stops and working over the weekend to characterise the monoclonal aptamers. We are pleased to share data to demonstrate examples of both cross reactive and specific aptamers against SARS-CoV-2.
The BLI data shown in figure 1 gives an example of an aptamer which is specific to the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2; it shows no significant interaction with the spike from SARS or MERS. Aptamers of this nature would be valuable tools for accurate diagnosis of COVID19 infection.
Figure 1. Octet Biolayer Interferometry assay demonstrates the interaction between a target specific aptamer and the S1 spike protein from either SARS-CoV-2 (blue), SARS (red) or MERS (cyan).
In contrast, the BLI data shown in figure 2 gives an example of an individual aptamer which cross reacts with the spike proteins from several coronaviruses. In this case, the aptamer shows a strong interaction with the spike protein from both SARS-CoV-2 and MERS. The aptamer does interact with the spike protein from SARS, but this is a weaker interaction. Aptamers of this nature would be excellent reagents for development of a broadly active therapeutic, for the treatment of multiple coronavirus infections.
Figure 2. Biolayer Interferometry assay demonstrates the interaction between a cross reactive aptamer and the S1 spike protein from either SARS-CoV-2 (blue), SARS (red) or MERS (cyan).