There is a race to find the Holy Grail of Covid-19 Antibodies.
A nurse is handling blood samples The photo was taken by Emanuele Cremaschi. Our best hope against the Pandemic could be lab-made antibodies.
The Canadian company was testing how quickly it could find a cure for the coronaviruses that cause the diseases. The goal was to identify and reproduce the antibodies within 60 days. The first US case of Covid-19 was detected in Washington state on January 21. When the first reports of a mysterious respiratory disease trickled out of China, the CEO of AbCellera was in the middle of running a simulation.
He and other scientists are racing to find potent antibodies in the blood of human Covid-19 survivors, in lab mice, and in other animals. The hope is that the most effective ones could be used to treat people who are sick with the disease and also act as a kind of temporary vaccine for people who are at high risk of contracting it. The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the drug remdesivir, but experts say it isn’t a knockout punch against the virus. There will be more treatments needed with a vaccine at least a year away. He tells OneZero that the missing piece was to find a blood sample. AbCellera got its hands on a small amount of blood from a patient in the early 19th century.
Scientists want to use one or a few of these neutralizing antibodies as a drug to help those hospitalized with Covid-19 recover more quickly, or to prevent people from getting sick in the first place. Lab-produced antibodies that mimic the real thing are thought to be the best hope for defeating the coronaviruses, as well as any new infectious pathogens that could emerge in the future, in the absence of a vaccine. When a foreign invader is detected, the body mounts an immune response and makes a host of anti-foreigner antibodies. The body fight off infections with neutralizing antibodies.
The trick is to find the right antibodies. It used to take years of research to analyze them. It now takes days or weeks because of new technology. A few companies are manufacturing and planning to test for the disease in the summer.
Was this helpful?
0 / 0