“super-neutralizing antibody” protects against infection of a variety of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) variants

The unique core technologies developed in the University of Toyama successfully acquired a neutralizing antibody which can prevent the SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19).

The Toyama University is seeking a partner to develop the antibody for clinical applications.

Japanese version only

Unique core technologies at the University of Toyama

The collaboration of Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Engineering developed “unique core technologies”. The University have 14 patents in Japan and other countries for the following areas:

  • “Screening of patients with high-titer neutralizing antibodies”
  • “Isolation of single neutralizing antibody-producing cells on a chip and cloning the gene”
  • “Large scale production of the antibody in vitro”
  • “Selection of the antibody with the highest titer”.

The combination of these technologies enabled to acquire monoclonal neutralizing antibodies in 1-2 weeks after obtaining serum from patients, which is surprisingly short compared to conventional methods (> 2 months). Further, the University have successfully discovered a human monoclonal neutralizing antibody (ID: 28K) with a high titer that can protect against virus infection of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The antibody is named “super-neutralizing antibody” because of its effectiveness of the neutralizing activity against a variety of mutants.

The University of Toyama is welcome any collabolation for using these unique core technologies for obtaining new antibodies.

Virus neutralizing antibody

Novel coronavirus infection begins with binding of virus spike protein to ACE2 receptors on human cells (Fig). The neutralizing antibody binds directly to the virus spike protein, which inhibits virus binding to the ACE2 receptor. As a result, human cells are protected from infection of the novel coronavirus. The neutralizing antibody recognize mutant strains of coronavirus which had ever been reported to date, suggesting it is effective to mutant strains which may surface in future.

Fig. Schematic drawing of the mechanism that a neutralizing antibody inhibits COVID-19 virus infection.

Clinical application of the “super-neutralizing antibody”

Our super-neutralizing antibody 28K is expected to be used for a treatment of the following patients.

  1. Treatment for mild to moderate patients of COVID-19
    When 28K administrated to the mild to moderate patients, it will prevent SARS-CoV-2 virus proliferation in the body. This early treatment is effective to prevent becoming severe condition, and thus contrivutes to save more lives and to avoid shortage of medical resources.
  2. Effectiveness to variant SARS-CoV-2 strains
    28K is effective to the almost all of SARS-CoV-2 strains. This implyes that this antibody could be also effective against the new strains which may occur in future.

Urgent mission

The university has already filed patent application for 28K and is ready for a partnership with pharmaceutical companies or others to bring the antibody to the market and contribute to save the world from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contributed researchers

  • Hideki Niimi [1]
  • Hiroyuki Kishi [2]
  • Tatsuhiko Ozawa [2]
  • Yoshitomo Morinaga [3]
  • Yoshihiro Yamamoto [4]
  • Masaharu Isobe [5]
  • Nobuyuki Kurosawa [5]
  • Hideki Tani [6]
  • [1] Department of Clinical Laboratory and Molecular Pathology
  • [2] Department of Immunology
  • [3] Department of Microbiology
  • [4] Department of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine
  • [5] Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Engineering, University of Toyama
  • [6] Department of Virology, Toyama PrefecturaInstitute of Public Health

For inquiries regarding this matter, please contact

Public Relations and Foundation Office,
General Affairs Section,
General Affairs Division, University of Toyama
Tel: 076-445-6028
E-mail:kouhou @