Novochizol SA to collaborate with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Antibody Therapeutics on two research initiatives aimed at fighting COVID-19

PRESS RELEASE: Bioark, Monthey, October 26, 2021 : Novochizol SA, a Swiss biotech company with a unique chitosan-based drug formulation nanotechnology. Today, they announced the launch of two research initiatives focusing on fighting COVID-19 prevention and therapeutics. Which is in collaboration with researchers at the Center for Antibody Therapeutics (CAT), Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh.

First Initiative

The first initiative consists of developing a Novochizol™ aerosol formulation of ab10. It is a high potency bivalent human VH domain against SARS-CoV-2 spike. Which has been identified in a phage-displayed human antibody VH domain library. This is similar to the one first reported in a breakthrough publication in the journal Cell in October 2020 [1]. The objective of this first initiative is to demonstrate to what extent ab10 can inhibit viral infection. In fact, ab10 has potent neutralization activity against various SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition to replication when delivered as an intranasal aerosol. If successful, such a formulation may lead to a first-in-class solution for early treatment and prevention of COVID-19 infections.

Second Initiative

The second initiative consists of developing a Novochizol™- based formulation of a SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD). Previously CAT researchers demonstrated that RBD fused to Fc can elicit a strong neutralizing antibody response in mice[2]. Now the CAT researchers have produced RBD with the Beta variant triple mutations in the receptor-engaging ridge. Moreover, the objective of this second initiative is to demonstrate to what extent a systemic immune response against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. It may be generated via an intranasal administration and whether a bona fide mucosal immune response is elicited. If successful, this initiative may pave the way toward the development of a rapid vaccine formulation platform. Any combination of viral antigens may be attached to Novochizol™ nanoparticles for intranasal, oral, or rectal administration.

Accordind to Wei Li, Center for Antibody Therapeutics

“Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our center has rapidly identified highly potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by using antibody phage-displayed technology. Which is coupled with antibody engineering strategies. With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, we are dedicated to broadening our antibodies’ neutralization capacities by antibody paratope engineering. As well as the generation of bispecific antibodies.  ab10 is a broadly neutralizing antibody VH domain that showed reactivity to various SARS-CoV-2 isolates.”

According to Yvan (Vanya) Loroch, CEO Novochizol SA

“As a newly founded start-up company, we feel privileged and humbled to collaborate with an outstanding research group at one of the leading medical research institutions in the USA and worldwide. More importantly, however, is the overall objective of the two research projects. Contributing to a preventive strategy against COVID-19 – via a self-administered spray or a sterilizing vaccine. This would be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement!”

About the University of Pittsburgh Center for Antibody Therapeutics (CAT)

The Center for Antibody Therapeutics (CAT), housed within the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. It is a key component of the UPMC Immune Transplant and Therapy Center (ITTC) of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The major goals of the CAT are to discover monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based candidate therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Equally important, for diagnostics and research.

More information:

About Novochizol

Novochizol SA researches and develops applications of Novochizol™, unique chitosan nanotechnology that yields different carriers. Such carriers are of small molecules, peptides, nucleic acids, proteins, viruses, and cells for targeted delivery to any living tissue. Which offers customizable release properties and intracellular targeting potential.

More information:  

[1] Wei Li et al., High Potency of a Bivalent Human VH Domain in SARS-CoV-2 Animal Models, 2020, Cell, 183 (2): 429-441.e16,

[2] Xianglei Liu et al., Enhanced elicitation of potent neutralizing antibodies by the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain Fc fusion protein in mice, 2020,  Vaccine  38 (46): 7205-7212,