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Roche Partners with Moderna for Use of Its SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Dec 2020
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Image: Roche Partners with Moderna for Use of Its SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials (Photo courtesy of Roche)
Image: Roche Partners with Moderna for Use of Its SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials (Photo courtesy of Roche)
Roche (Basel, Switzerland) has entered into a partnership with Moderna, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, USA) to utilize its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody test in the company’s mRNA-1273 vaccine research trials.

This will facilitate the quantitative measurement of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and help to establish a correlation between vaccine-induced protection and levels of anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies. Roche’s Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S is an immunoassay for the quantitative, in vitro determination of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human serum and plasma. Through a blood sample, the test can measure the quantity of antibodies to the spike protein of the coronavirus. Specifically, the test targets antibodies which are directed against the particular region of the viral spike protein responsible for binding to the host cell receptor, which is required for the virus to enter the host cell. The presence and level of such antibodies could signal whether a person has been already infected and potentially developed immunity to the virus.

To enhance understanding of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 there would be a benefit in knowing the starting levels of antibodies a person has, prior to vaccination, in order to evaluate any change in antibody levels that the vaccine induces. This is particularly relevant in the case of antibodies directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, since these antibodies have been shown to have potent antiviral activity and correlate to potential immunity. Measuring antibody levels can also play a role in establishing vaccine efficacy in the prevention of infection and/or the development of severe COVID-19. Moderna’s vaccine triggers antibody response specifically to the RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Measuring the quantitative levels of anti-RBD SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using Roche’s test will help Moderna to gain valuable insights into the correlation between protection from vaccination and antibody levels. This could play a role in assessing if, or when, an individual needs revaccination, or in helping to answer other clinically relevant questions.

“Roche values the collaboration with Moderna, which has already included the successful use of our qualitative Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test, targeting the nucleocapsid protein, in an earlier part of the studies”, said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. “We are pleased to see that our quantitative Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 S test, which targets the spike protein, is now also being used as part of the Moderna vaccine trials, which could ultimately help to end this pandemic.”



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