Monoclonal antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) neutralize infection and are efficacious for the treatment of COVID-19. However, SARS-CoV-2 variants, notably sublineages of B.1.1.529/omicron, have emerged that escape antibodies in clinical use. As an alternative, soluble decoy receptors based on the host entry receptor ACE2 broadly bind and block S from SARS-CoV-2 variants and related betacoronaviruses. The high-affinity and catalytically active decoy sACE22.v2.4-IgG1 was previously shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants when administered intravenously. Here, inhalation of aerosolized sACE22.v2.4-IgG1 increased survival and ameliorated lung injury in K18-hACE2 mice inoculated with P.1/gamma virus. Loss of catalytic activity reduced the decoy's therapeutic efficacy, which was further confirmed by intravenous administration, supporting dual mechanisms of action: direct blocking of S and turnover of ACE2 substrates associated with lung injury and inflammation. Furthermore, sACE22.v2.4-IgG1 tightly binds and neutralizes BA.1, BA.2, and BA.4/BA.5 omicron and protects K18-hACE2 mice inoculated with a high dose of BA.1 omicron virus. Overall, the therapeutic potential of sACE22.v2.4-IgG1 is demonstrated by the inhalation route and broad neutralization potency persists against highly divergent SARS-CoV-2 variants.
- angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine