Free Webinar | Rapid Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Candidates

July 30, 2020 | 11:00am-12:00 pm EDT

11:00 am Introduction

Nilshad Salim, PhD, Marketing Applications Manager, FortéBio

11:10 Rapid Characterization and Selection of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Candidates by Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI) Technology

Wei-Hung Chen, PhD, Research Fellow, US Military HIV Research Program, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)

SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic with more than 10 million confirmed infections across more than 200 countries. The severity of the COVID-19 outbreak highlights the need to develop therapeutic interventions including vaccines, small molecule inhibitors, and immunotherapeutics. Using BLI, we developed a set of assays to identify antibodies with SARS-CoV-2 reactivity, and to enable rapid characterization of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates. Initially, we tested a set of SARS-CoV monoclonal antibodies obtained from BEI resources to assess cross reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein. These antibodies target a conserved epitope present on SARS-CoV and related beta-coronaviruses centered on the receptor-binding domain Proline 384. Using this set of re-purposed antibodies and an additional set of potent neutralizing antibodies, we carried out antigenic screening of more than 100 SARS-CoV-2 nanoparticle vaccine candidates. A subset of these immunogens was assessed in mouse immunogenicity studies. Using BLI, we assessed the vaccine-elicited serum response against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) to enable down-selection of vaccine candidates. In addition, using recombinant ACE2 receptor protein, we developed an ACE2 inhibition assay to assess the vaccine-elicited serum ACE2 inhibitory activity. BLI also allows same-day investigation of newly produced protein candidate immunogens, and rapid analysis of animal sera immune responses.

11:45 Q&A

Speaker Biographies

Wei-Hung Chen, PhD
Research Fellow, US Military HIV Research Program, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)

Dr. Wei-Hung Chen is a Research Fellow, Structural Biology Section, with the US Military HIV Research Program, Henry M. Jackson Foundation. He is currently working in the areas of structure-based HIV and arenavirus vaccine design, as well as structural and functional studies of herpes and influenza surface proteins and antibodies. Previously, Wei-Hung worked as a Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, at the University of Florida, and as a Research Associate with the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan. Wei-Hung’s expertise includes research in the fields of biochemistry, structural biology, as well as organic/chemoenzymatic synthesis.

Nilshad Salim
PhD, Marketing Applications Manager, FortéBio

Nilshad Salim is a Marketing Applications Manager at ForteBio, and has been with the company since 2016. Nilshad is responsible for identifying, developing, and validating emerging applications and workflow solutions that enhance our label-free portfolio. His work focuses on several vertical markets including antibody discovery, cell line development, and biomolecular interaction analysis. Prior to joining ForteBio, he held postdoctoral research roles in the areas of virology and cancer biology at Indiana University School of Medicine, and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Nilshad obtained his PhD in biochemistry from Wayne State University in 2011.