BioScience Trends. 2021;15(4):205-210. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01227)

Opportunities and challenges to the use of neutralizing monoclonal antibody therapies for COVID-19

Su J, Lu HZ


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a substantial global public healthcare crisis, leading to the urgent need for effective therapeutic strategies. Neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) are a potential treatment for COVID-19. This article provides a brief overview of the targets and development of nAbs against COVID-19, and it examines the efficacy of nAbs as part of both outpatient and inpatient treatments based on emerging clinical trial data. Assessment of several promising candidates in clinical trials highlights the potential of nAbs to be an effective therapeutic to treat COVID-19 in outpatient settings. Nevertheless, the efficacy of nAbs treatment for hospitalized patients varies. In addition, this review identifies challenges to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, including concerns over nAbs development and clinical use. Resistant variants significantly threaten the availability of nAb-based therapeutics. This review also discusses other approaches that may improve the clinical benefit of neutralizing mAbs.

KEYWORDS: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, neutralizing antibody, monoclonal antibody, clinical therapy

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