Department of Immunology

October 5, 2020

Immunology Faculty Dr. Marion Pepper COVID -19 Research Featured in Seattle Times

Monoclonal antibodies could fill the COVID-19 treatment gap until vaccines arrive — but at a cost

[EXCERPT] Pepper and her colleagues have zeroed in on several promising candidates, focusing on more mature antibody-producing cells that develop a month or more after infection and produce antibodies more precisely tailored to disable the spike protein the novel coronavirus uses to infect human cells.

“There are other antibodies that are way further ahead than ours, but we think ours might have better quality,” Pepper said. “We have a whole panel of antibodies that we know are capable of neutralizing the virus in lab culture assays, and now we’re trying to figure out what to do with them.”

She’s talking with multiple companies about how to proceed. A mix of antibodies that target different parts of the virus could be even more powerful than single monoclonals and harder for the virus to escape from even if it mutates, Pepper said. (Read the full Seattle Times article)