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[Chile] Theranostic Nanobody for Coronavirus

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Name KOICID Date20-07-27 12:45 Hit4,550 Comment0



My team in Valdivia, Chile, has generated a platform for the isolation of single chain antibodies from camelids, also known as nanobodies, against emergent viruses. We over 20 alpacas and are working on several human diseases.


Our main focus has been the generation of neutralizing measures against the lethal virus Hanta Andes. Once the Covid-19 outbreak started, we used our experience and resources for the fast generation of over 30 nanobodies against Spike of SARS-CoV-2. We have obtained two families of very good nanobodies and characterized one of those families. The most efficient nanobody is called W25 and shows the best affinity reported so far (Kd 300pM) in its monomeric stage. We know that the nanobody is competing very efficiently with the ACE2 cellular receptor and neutralizes Spike expressing pseudo-virus infections in human cells in an extraordinary manner. 


In collaboration with the University of Copenhagen, we have also managed to radiolabel the nanobodies for Positron Emission Tomography (PET), not only to measure the pharmacodynamics of the nanobody, but also to identify the infected hotspots in the human body. Today, we are doing a feasibility study for the formulation of a humanized GMP nanobody, and we are looking for financial support for our project which has become very successful in a very short time. The aim of this proposal is final characterization of theragnostic nanobodies (nanobodies that are able to act as therapeutic or diagnostic measures). As therapeutic agent, we aim to demonstrate that the nanobodies are safe for administration by inhalation, and as diagnostic tool, we aim to develop a radiotracer to identify the virus localization and spreading of the virus in the human body by PET. 


The next step will be the production of nanobodies in a cGMP like quality and the toxicity studies in animal models and clinical trials for the theragnostic measures. We have created a strong network with Canada, Australia, Denmark and Germany to further develop the technology for the use in patients. We will be happy to share all details regarding the new data not included in the pre-print we have submitted a few weeks ago (, if there would be any possibility to gain interest for funding forward this initiative. I attached a single page with the most encouraging results.


Kind regards, 




Dr. Alejandro Rojas Fernandez

Principal Investigator

Espacio CISNE

Facultad de Medicina

Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja S/N

Valdivia, 511-0566, Chile

F: (56)63-2444315

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