Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses known to cause a variety of illnesses. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a newly identified coronavirus strain and the causative agent of COVID-19. A variety of SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays have been developed, but most suffer from poor performance. To address this, Rational Vaccines is developing the “ABVIC SARS-CoV-2 IgG Test” as a high accuracy serological assay for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in human blood samples. Our goal is an antibody test with higher sensitivity and superior results compared to currently available tests.

The ABVIC assay was initially developed as a highly sensitive and specific test for Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-1 and HSV-2 to solve the problem of false positives and indeterminate diagnoses that plague commercially available Herpes serological tests. Now we are leveraging these capabilities to improve SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing.

With ABVIC, high assay sensitivity and specificity is a direct result of the assay design itself.

While most antibody assays test for the presence of antibodies to a single or small subset of viral protein(s), the ABVIC assay tests for antibodies to most viral proteins, leading to increased sensitivity.

The ABVIC assay can also employ a method to physically ‘subtract’ cross-reacting antibodies from sera. This can be used, for instance, to remove pre-existing antibodies to other common coronaviruses and help reduce ‘false positives’ and improve assay specificity.

Based on our experience with the ABVIC HSV IgG test, we believe the ABVIC SARS-CoV-2 IgG test will prove superior to most if not all commercially available SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays.

HSV Viral Vector

We are also in the process of adapting our HSV immunotherapeutic candidate, RVx201, to a viral vector format. This would broaden the utility of the underlying technology and enable the development of multiple vaccine types, including to SARS-CoV-2