The road race to develop effective and inexpensive antibodies against Covid-19



When US President Donald Trump became ill with Covid-19, doctors gave him a range of drugs – some proven effective (such as dexamethasone) and others experimentally. President Trump himself showed enthusiasm for one of them as a ‘cure’. However, the “therapeutic” value of this antibody cocktail has not yet been demonstrated. Although it has shown positive results in small, early studies in people with mild symptoms of Covid-19, major clinical trials for In the meantime, researchers are already designing more advanced antibody treatments that could be cheaper, easier to produce and more effective. In fact, what we really need is an antibody so surprisingly strong that we would need it. only a small amount so that everyone can receive it, at home or in the hospital or at school or in an e.g. factory where multiple cases have occurred or in other cases of consecutive cases. The professors of the Therapeutic Clinic of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Efstathios Kastritis and Thanos Dimopoulos (rector of EKPA) summarize the SARS-CoV-2 and researchers are struggling to develop therapies that utilize the ability of antibodies to bind directly to the virus proteins and inhibit its replication. One way to do this is by using plasma from the blood of patients recovering from Covid-19 to transfer antibodies that they have already developed during their illness and that were effective after fighting the virus, to another patient who may not yet have developed such antibodies Another way to use antibodies is to prepare them at work mass production of specific antibodies against the virus that could complement the body’s immune response. This approach has proven successful against other diseases: on October 14 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a cocktail of three specific antibodies. Ebola virus treatment has been shown to reduce virus deaths in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At first glance, it seems that such antibody therapies could stop mild Covid-19 from progressing to severe. optimism that these treatments will be able to change the outcome of the disease in severe cases Covid-19: in these cases the damage is caused not only by the virus, but also by the body’s excessive immune response to it. At least ten antibodies against Covid-19 is being tested in clinical trials and many more are under development. Considering how well these antibodies bind to SARS-CoV-2 virus proteins, many of these candidate drugs are likely to offer some benefit to people with Covid-19. So it seems that there may be differences in grade, but most of them Researchers are also trying to find ways to minimize the chances of the virus becoming resistant to these treatments. When only one antibody is used, the virus is likely to develop mutations – for example, in The antibody binds to the virus protein, which allows it to block the antibody. Treatments that combine many antibodies, such as Trump’s Regeneron, may reduce the chance of this happening by targeting the virus in multiple ways. antibodies that bind to different proteins and sites on these virus proteins. However, there are serious drawbacks. Antibodies are expensive and difficult to prepare and are administered in relatively high doses. Several researchers have pointed out that 8 grams of antibodies, the highest dose tested in clinical trials and received by President Trump, is a huge dose. and if such a treatment works, a dose of 8 grams would be incredibly expensive. Even the lowest doses considered would have very high costs for widespread use as a preventative treatment. Other researchers are working to develop small antibody-like molecules called These are based on a type of antibody that is naturally produced by the immune system of certain camel species, including llamas and alpacas. Nanobodies are easier to produce and can often be produced in bacteria, which are very cheaper to grow and maintain than mammalian cells required for normal Last year the FDA approved the first therapeutic “nanosome” called caplacizumab, a treatment for a rare and serious haematological disease, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. -19 are still at an earlier stage of development than conventional antibodies in terms of their integration into clinical practice. A research team has isolated from an alpaca a nanosome against a key protein of SARS-CoV-2 (spike protein in particular, to the human cells) .Then they prepared the nanosome and in the laboratory and modified it to improve the activity, stability and possibility of administration to humans, but have not yet tested it in animals. Some researchers hope to develop nanosomes which can be administered by inhalation, to immediately protect the main sites of infection from In Shanghai, China, a pharmaceutical company originally developed inhaled nanosomes for the treatment of asthma, but is now turning to nanosystems for Covid-19 and is looking for international partners to conduct the necessary clinical trials. Experts in these therapies hope that inhaled administration will allow these nanosomes to be effective at much lower doses than those required for standard antibodies, which are given intravenously or subcutaneously and must travel through the bloodstream to the So some say that such a drug with inhaled nanosomes could be used as a prophylactic spray before someone gets on a plane, for example. Realistically, however, we are still a long way from the arrival of such nanosomes in clinical practice, but several experts express restrained optimism. (Source of information: Ethn and Kapodistrian University of Athens) Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest News from Greece and the World, at



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