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bioRxiv Preprint

The ongoing massive vaccination and the development of effective intervention offer the long-awaited hope to end the global rage of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the rapidly growing SARS-CoV-2 variants might compromise existing vaccines and monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies. Although there are valuable experimental studies about the potential threats from emerging variants, the results are limited to a handful of mutations and Eli Lilly and Regeneron mAbs. The potential threats from frequently occurring mutations on the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) to many mAbs in clinical trials are largely unknown. We fill the gap by developing a topology-based deep learning strategy that is validated with tens of thousands of experimental data points. We analyze 261,348 genome isolates from patients to identify 514 non-degenerate RBD mutations and investigate their impacts on 16 mAbs in clinical trials. Our findings, which are highly consistent with existing experimental results about variants from the UK, South Africa, Brazil, US-California, and Mexico shed light on potential threats of 95 high-frequency mutations to mAbs not only from Eli Lilly and Regeneron but also from Celltrion and Rockefeller University that are in clinical trials. We unveil, for the first time, that high-frequency mutations R346K/S, N439K, G446V, L455F, V483F/A, E484Q/V/A/G/D, F486L, F490L/V/S, Q493L, and S494P/L might compromise some of mAbs in clinical trials. Our study gives rise to a general perspective about how mutations will affect current vaccines.

Chen, J.; Gao, K.; Wang, R.; Wei, G.-W.