Unbiased Screens Show CD8+ T Cells of COVID-19 Patients Recognize Shared Epitopes in SARS-CoV-2, Most of which Are Not Located in the Spike Protein

Scientists used an unbiased, genome-wide screening technology to determine the precise peptide sequences in SARS-CoV-2 that are recognized by the memory CD8+ T cells of COVID-19 patients.
[Immunity]
Ferretti, A. P., Kula, T., Wang, Y., Nguyen, D. M. V., Weinheimer, A., Dunlap, G. S., Xu, Q., Nabilsi, N., Perullo, C. R., Cristofaro, A. W., Whitton, H. J., Virbasius, A., Olivier, K. J., Buckner, L. R., Alistar, A. T., Whitman, E. D., Bertino, S. A., Chattopadhyay, S., & MacBeath, G. (2020). Unbiased screens show CD8+ T cells of COVID-19 patients recognize shared epitopes in SARS-CoV-2, most of which are not located in the Spike protein. Immunity, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2020.10.006 Cite
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Human Lung Stem Cell-Based Alveolospheres Provide Insights into SARS-CoV-2 Mediated Interferon Responses and Pneumocyte Dysfunction

The authors report a feeder-free, scalable, chemically-defined, and modular alveolosphere culture system for propagation and differentiation of human alveolar type 2 cells/pneumocytes derived from primary lung tissue.
[Cell Stem Cell]
Katsura, H., Sontake, V., Tata, A., Kobayashi, Y., Edwards, C. E., Heaton, B. E., Konkimalla, A., Asakura, T., Mikami, Y., Fritch, E. J., Lee, P. J., Heaton, N. S., Boucher, R. C., Randell, S. H., Baric, R. S., & Tata, P. R. (2020). Human lung stem cell-based alveolospheres provide insights into SARS-CoV-2 mediated interferon responses and pneumocyte dysfunction. Cell Stem Cell, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.10.005 Cite
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Bi-Paratopic and Multivalent VH Domains Block ACE2 Binding and Neutralize SARS-CoV-2

The authors constructed a VH-phage library and targeted the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 binding interface of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor-binding domain.
[Nature Chemical Biology]
Bracken, C. J., Lim, S. A., Solomon, P., Rettko, N. J., Nguyen, D. P., Zha, B. S., Schaefer, K., Byrnes, J. R., Zhou, J., Lui, I., Liu, J., Pance, K., Zhou, X. X., Leung, K. K., & Wells, J. A. (2020). Bi-paratopic and multivalent VH domains block ACE2 binding and neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Nature Chemical Biology, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-020-00679-1 Cite
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Latin America’s Embrace of an Unproven COVID Treatment Is Hindering Drug Trials

Unchecked ivermectin use in the region is making it difficult to test the anti-parasite drug’s effectiveness against the coronavirus.
[Nature News]
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Dozens to Be Deliberately Infected With Coronavirus in UK ‘Human Challenge’ Trials

Proponents of the trials say they can be run safely and help to identify effective vaccines, but others have questioned their value.
[Nature News]
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NOXXON Announces Three Additional Clinical Centers to Recruit Patients for NOX-A12 Brain Cancer Trial

NOXXON Pharma N.V. announced the collaboration with three additional clinical sites to increase recruitment capacity for the Phase I/II brain cancer study of NOX-A12 plus radiotherapy, as a measure to ensure the timely completion of the study under the current challenging conditions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
[NOXXON Pharma N.V.]
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Immunity, Endothelial Injury and Complement-Induced Coagulopathy in COVID-19

Insights into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 progression are emerging and highlight the critical role of the immunological hyper-response – characterized by widespread endothelial damage, complement-induced blood clotting and systemic microangiopathy – in disease exacerbation.
[Nature Reviews Nephrology]
Immunity, endothelial injury and complement-induced coagulopathy in COVID-19 | Nature Reviews Nephrology. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41581-020-00357-4#Abs1 Cite
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Interferons and Viruses Induce a Novel Truncated ACE2 Isoform and Not the Full-Length SARS-CoV-2 Receptor

In vitro, dACE2, which lacked 356 amino-terminal amino acids, was non-functional in binding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and as a carboxypeptidase.
[Nature Genetics]
Onabajo, O. O., Banday, A. R., Stanifer, M. L., Yan, W., Obajemu, A., Santer, D. M., Florez-Vargas, O., Piontkivska, H., Vargas, J. M., Ring, T. J., Kee, C., Doldan, P., Tyrrell, D. L., Mendoza, J. L., Boulant, S., & Prokunina-Olsson, L. (2020). Interferons and viruses induce a novel truncated ACE2 isoform and not the full-length SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Nature Genetics, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00731-9 Cite
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A Nanoluciferase SARS-CoV-2 for Rapid Neutralization Testing and Screening of Anti-Infective Drugs for COVID-19

Scientists present a high-throughput nanoluciferase severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 that was genetically stable and replicated similarly to the wild-type virus in cell culture.
[Nature Communications]
Xie, X., Muruato, A. E., Zhang, X., Lokugamage, K. G., Fontes-Garfias, C. R., Zou, J., Liu, J., Ren, P., Balakrishnan, M., Cihlar, T., Tseng, C.-T. K., Makino, S., Menachery, V. D., Bilello, J. P., & Shi, P.-Y. (2020). A nanoluciferase SARS-CoV-2 for rapid neutralization testing and screening of anti-infective drugs for COVID-19. Nature Communications, 11(1), 5214. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19055-7 Cite
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The Differential Immune Responses to COVID-19 in Peripheral and Lung Revealed by Single-Cell RNA Sequencing

Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers characterized the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from uninfected controls and COVID-19 patients and cells in paired broncho-alveolar lavage fluid.
[Cell Discovery]
The differential immune responses to COVID-19 in peripheral and lung revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing | Cell Discovery. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-00225-2 Cite
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Symvivo Corporation Receives Funding for COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Symvivo Corporation announced that it is receiving advisory services and funding of up to $2.8 million from the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program to support the clinical advancement of bacTRL-Spike™, the company’s oral, room temperature-stable DNA vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19.
[Symvivo Corporation]
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