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Exploring epitope and functional diversity of anti-SARS-CoV2 antibodies using AI-based methods

Abstract : Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemics, an unprecedented research effort has been conducted to analyze the antibody responses in patients, and many trials based on passive immunotherapy — notably monoclonal antibodies — are ongoing. Twenty-one antibodies have entered clinical trials, 6 having reached phase 2/3, phase 3 or having received emergency authorization. These represent only the tip of the iceberg, since many more antibodies have been discovered and represent opportunities either for diagnosis purposes or as drug candidates. The main problem facing laboratories willing to develop such antibodies is the huge task of analyzing them and choosing the best candidate for exhaustive experimental validation. In this work we show how artificial intelligence-based methods can help in analyzing large sets of antibodies in order to determine in a few hours the best candidates in few hours. The MAbCluster method, which only requires knowledge of the amino acid sequences of the antibodies, allows to group the antibodies having the same epitope, considering only their amino acid sequences and their 3D structures (actual or predicted), and to infer some of their functional properties. We then use MAbTope to predict the epitopes for all antibodies for which they are not already known. This allows an exhaustive comparison of the available epitopes, but also gives a synthetic view of the possible combinations. Finally, we show how these results can be used to predict which antibodies might be affected by the different mutations arising in the circulating strains of the virus, such as the N501Y mutation that has started to spread in Great-Britain.
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03091531
Contributor : Anne Poupon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 10:32:46 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 3:42:02 PM

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Christophe Dumet, Yann Jullian, Astrid Musnier, Philippe Rivière, Nicolas Poirier, et al.. Exploring epitope and functional diversity of anti-SARS-CoV2 antibodies using AI-based methods. 2020. ⟨hal-03091531⟩

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