The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) requires the development of next-generation biologics with high neutralization breadth. Here, we characterized a human VH domain, F6, which we generated by sequentially panning large phage displayed VH libraries against receptor binding domains (RBDs) containing VOC mutations. Cryo-EM analyses reveal that F6 has a unique binding mode that spans a broad surface of the RBD and involves the antibody framework region. Attachment of a Fc region to a fusion of F6 and ab8, a previously characterized VH domain, resulted in a construct (F6-ab8-Fc) that broadly and potently neutralized VOCs including Omicron. Additionally, prophylactic treatment using F6-ab8-Fc reduced live Beta (B.1.351) variant viral titers in the lungs of a mouse model. Our results provide a new potential therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron and highlight a vulnerable epitope within the spike that may be exploited to achieve broad protection against circulating variants.
Available online 20 July 2022, 104798