Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) evaluated several human antibodies to determine the most potent combination to be mixed in a cocktail and used as a promising anti-viral therapy against the virus that causes COVID-19. Their research, conducted in collaboration with scientists at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, was published Monday in the journal Science. The study demonstrates the rapid process of isolating, testing and mass-producing antibody therapies against any infectious disease by using both genetically engineered mice and plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
The antibody cocktail evaluated by UMSOM researchers will be used to treat COVID-19 patients in a clinical trial that was launched last week. The study was funded by Regeneron, a biotechnology company based in Tarrytown, New York.
Antibodies are proteins the immune system naturally makes in response to foreign invaders like viruses and bacterias. Antibody therapies had been initial attempted in the past due 19t l century when analysts utilized a serum extracted from the bloodstream of contaminated pets to deal with diphtheria.
To make the so-called monoclonal antibodies for an antibody drink to combat COVID-19, the analysts first needed to identify which antibodies combat the novel coronavirus most successfully.
This involved identifying which antibodies could bind most effectively to the spike protein found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Regeneron group examined hundreds of individual antibodies from plasma donations from retrieved COVID-19 sufferers. They also produced antibodies from mice genetically built to make individual antibodies when contaminated with the pathogen.
Analysts evaluated 4 of the most potent antibodies for to determine the potential of each a single to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. They determined the two that would type the most effective combine when utilized in mixture.
The drink containing the two antibodies is now being tested in a new clinical trial sponsored by Regeneron that will investigate whether the counseling can enhance the outcomes of COVID-19 patients (both those who are hospitalized and those who are not). It will also end up being examined as a precautionary counseling in those who are healthful but at high risk of obtaining unwell because they function in a health care placing or possess been open to an contaminated person.