Over the past 5 years, a new generation of highly potent and broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies has been identified. These antibodies can protect against lentiviral infection in nonhuman primates (NHPs), suggesting that passive antibody transfer would prevent HIV-1 transmission in humans. To increase the protective efficacy of such monoclonal antibodies, we employed next-generation sequencing, computational bioinformatics, and structure-guided design to enhance the neutralization potency and breadth of VRC01, an antibody that targets the CD4 binding site of the HIV-1 envelope. One variant, VRC07-523, was 5- to 8-fold more potent than VRC01, neutralized 96% of viruses tested, and displayed minimal autoreactivity. To compare its protective efficacy to that of VRC01 in vivo, we performed a series of simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge experiments in nonhuman primates and calculated the doses of VRC07-523 and VRC01 that provide 50% protection (EC50). VRC07- 523 prevented infection in NHPs at a 5-fold lower concentration than VRC01. These results suggest that increased neutralization potency in vitro correlates with improved protection against infection in vivo, documenting the improved functional efficacy of VRC07-523 and its potential clinical relevance for protecting against HIV-1 infection in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science