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Antibody therapy against coronavirus (COVID-19)

Project description

Antibody therapy against COVID-19

Passive immunotherapy, through the transfer of antibodies, has been proposed as a potential approach for treating patients with COVID-19. Building on previous experience of antibody therapy against SARS- and MERS-CoV, scientists of the EU-funded ATAC project will characterise human antibodies obtained from the blood of recovered coronavirus patients from China and Italy. Using a combination of experimental and computational work, they will optimise, produce and test all antibodies before selecting the most effective candidate for therapy. The rapid dissemination of the project's results will help the medical community respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic through improved patient management.


ATAC aims at developing passive immunotherapy against COVID-19. Human antibodies will be obtained from blood of CoV-recovered donors from China and Italy with three independent approaches: polyclonal gamma-globulins, B cell monoclonals and phage libraries. Antibodies will be characterized by rapid experimental and computational work, optimized, produced and tested in consultation with EMA to ensure prompt embedding of regulatory aspects.

The partners have outstanding experience in all aspects of the project, collaborated previously and worked on antibody therapy for diseases including SARS and MERS-CoV. Reagents and experienced personnel are already available ensuring quick and efficient progress, with initial deliverables within 3 months.

Besides providing a lead human antibody candidate for therapy, ATAC will rapidly disseminate results to help respond to the current COVID-19 epidemic. Results of the 40 months project will also further our understanding of CoV neutralization, contributing to future vaccination and therapeutic strategies.

The team includes the Karolinska Institutet (SE, Pan-Hammarström and Hammarström, coordinators), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (CH, Varani and Robbiani); the Joint Research Centre- European Commission (BE, Calzolai); Technische Universität Braunschweig (DE, Hust) and Policlinico San Matteo (IT, Baldanti). The partners’ outstanding expertise is attested by high impact publications on antibody treatment for emerging infectious diseases.


Net EU contribution
€ 849 143,00
Nobels vag 5
17177 Stockholm

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Östra Sverige Stockholm Stockholms län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 6 253,25

Participants (4)