EpitopePredikt employed to develop novel, epitope based SARS-CoV-2 ELISA assay

In 2020, AiBiologics joined forces with leading scientists and clinicians from the University of Aberdeen, NHS Grampian and it’s partner company Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd (VAL) to develop a novel serological assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. This project, funded by the Scottish Government and in-kind contributions from VAL, employed several innovative approaches.


EpitopePredikt identifies immunodominant epitopes within SARS-Cov-2 proteome

Firstly, proprietary machine learning technology (EpitopePredikt) was used to identify the immunodominant regions “epitopes” within SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. The immunogenic regions are the specific elements of the virus that trigger the body’s antibody defence systems.


VAL bio-engineers a novel recombinant epitope display platform

Secondly, Dr Tiehui Wang, Director of Biologics at VAL, bio-engineered a novel recombinant platform (EpitoGen) to display the selected epitopes of the virus. The platform was tested using serum or plasma taken from patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (seasonal coronavirus positive sera and pre-COVID negative sera were used as negative controls). The best combination of epitopes was identified after testing each one individually and selecting the best in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Finally, the selected epitopes are fused together and attached onto the bio-scaffold to be used in the test.


EpitopePredikt and EpitoGen combine to create a novel diagnostic development platform and a machine learning model of COVID-19 humoral response.

Combining the AI precision of EpitopePredikt and EpitoGen bio-scaffold has created a game changing platform in the field of serology diagnostics due to its superior performance and flexibility. This is because the technology combines multiple immunodominant epitopes enhancing the signal to noise ratio, whereby cross-reactive epitopes are eliminated to ensure specificity.

Additionally, surveying the epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 proteins has created hundreds of thousands of data points which in turn have been used to create a COVID-19 specific model of EpitopePredikt. This COVD-19 specific model is currently being used to assess in silico the effects of variants of concern on diagnostic and vaccine performance.

The diagnostic development platform and the machine learning COVID-19 model are the first of their kind.


EpitoGen was employed to develop a variety of COVID antibody tests.

  • EpitoGen Universal SARS-CoV-2 Detection of the broadest range of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies.
  • EpitoGen Differential SARS-CoV-2 Detection of antibody responses against the vaccine target (the spike protein) and non-spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2.
  • EpitoGen Immunity SARS-CoV-2 Detection of antibody responses against the vaccine target (the spike) and spike mutants, and non-spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2.
  • EpitoGen SARS-CoV-2 Spike-mutant. Detection of antibody response to potential SARS-CoV-2 spike variants


To learn more about EpitopePredikt and EpitoGen and how it can be adapted to aid in your research contact us today. info@vertebrateantibodies.com