Imanis Life Sciences Presents a First-in-Class Neutralizing Antibody Test for COVID-19

Imanis Life Sciences, LLC recently announced presentations about the development and validation of IMMUNO-COV, the first scalable, quantitative neutralizing antibody test for COVID-19. The company presented a technical overview of the assay and host a luncheon presentation at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) COVID-19 Symposium, a virtual event that was held September 15-16.

In contrast to other antibody tests, the IMMUNO-COV assay specifically measures antibodies in the blood that can block infection by SARS-Co-V-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of the key ways the immune system fights a SARS-CoV-2 infection is to make a huge number of antibodies that recognize and bind to the surface of the virus in many different ways and at many different sites. Only a small subset of those antibodies — called neutralizing antibodies — can actually prevent the virus from infecting new cells.

The IMMUNO-COV test uses an innocuous virus that mimics SARS-CoV-2 and detects neutralizing antibodies in the blood that can recognize and stop the virus from infecting new cells. Neutralizing antibodies are detectable in the blood typically 14 days after the onset of infection and their levels vary widely from person to person.

Imanis Life Sciences, under a commercial arrangement with Vyriad, is performing the IMMUNO-COV assay in its CLIA-certified laboratory. Mayo Clinic has licensed IMMUNO-COV for evaluating donors in the national COVID-19 convalescing plasma study. Applications for the IMMUNO-COV assay include:

-Assessing neutralizing antibody levels in potential donors of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for treatment of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (plasma with high neutralizing antibody titers is preferred).

-Evaluating the relative effectiveness of SARS-COV-2 vaccine candidates in clinical trials.

-Testing healthcare workers and other at-risk professionals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infections to assess the strength and durability of their immunity to COVID-19 over time.

Rianna Vandergaast, PhD, the lead IMMUNO-COV scientist at Imanis Life Sciences, gave both presentations at the ASGCT COVID-19 Symposium.

A recording of Dr. Vandergaast’s presentations is available on the ASGCT website for 30 days following the symposium.

IMMUNO-COV is a product of Vyriad, Inc., developed in collaboration with its affiliate Imanis Life Sciences, Regeneron and Mayo Clinic.

Imanis Life Sciences is a leading provider of products and services to accelerate development of viro-immuno-oncology drugs. Its mission is to advance pharmacokinetics and imaging, promote widespread adoption of noninvasive in vivo imaging in preclinical and clinical research. Its team of dedicated and passionate scientists (PhD, MSc, BSc) works closely with clients to facilitate their research, from study design, custom products, and consultation.  For more information, visit

Vyriad is a clinical-stage company developing virus-based therapeutics, focusing initially on proprietary oncolytic virus therapies for the treatment of cancers with significant unmet needs. Founded by scientists at Mayo Clinic and the University of Miami, Vyriad programs viruses to selectively attack cancer cells, thereby igniting antitumor immune responses that can complete the process of tumor destruction and prevent disease recurrence. Its lead platforms, derived from either vesicular stomatitis virus or measles virus (VSV), are being evaluated in ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials addressing multiple cancer types. Vyriad and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have entered into a broad strategic agreement for the discovery and development of new oncolytic virus treatments for cancer leveraging Vyriad’s VSV platform and Regeneron’s PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo (cemiplimab) as well as its unmatched antibody discovery capabilities. Vyriad is a privately held company based in Rochester, MN. For more information, visit