Synthetic Mini-Antibodies Bind to and Neutralize SARS-CoV-2

Extremely small antibodies, known as nanobodies, have been shown to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. But they’re extracted from llamas and camels, which is problematic for a number of reasons. Now, scientists have identified a synthetic form of a nanobody, known as a sybody, which shows affinity to SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing capabilities.


For SARS-CoV-2 to infect humans, the viral Spike (S) protein must interact with and bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on the surface of human cells. The S protein achieves this via the receptor binding domains (RBDs), and thus blocking the RBD using antibodies is just one therapeutic avenue that is being explored for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2.