Scientists from the University Hospital of Lausanne and the Federal Polytechnic School of that Swiss city (EPFL) announced the discovery of a monoclonal antibody capable of neutralize all variants of COVID-19, including the Delta.
Technically, it blocks the binding of the Spike protein (which gives the virus its characteristic “crown” shape to COVID-19) to cells that express so-called “ACE2” receptors, which are the target of the virus to enter and infect cells pulmonary The famous protective antibody it stops the cycle of viral replication and leads to the elimination of the virus by the immune system. This was observed in hamsters, treated with the antibody and protected from infection after being exposed to a highly infectious dose of the virus. A trial in monkeys is now underway.
Scientists claim that the new monoclonal antibody is more durable, since it provides protection for around six months, against three or four weeks for other antibodies.
“This makes it an interesting preventive treatment for unvaccinated individuals at risk, or for vaccinated people who have not been able to produce an immune response “, said the statement from the Swiss university.
Immunocompromised patients, recipients from a transplanted organ or patients with certain types of cancer They could be protected against the coronavirus by receiving injections of the discovered antibody two or three times a year, EPFL experts predicted. Clinical trials of a drug based on these antibodies will begin in late 2022.
The discovery was made thanks to the isolation of lymphocytes from 40 COVID-19 patients. Three months after infection, the scientists extracted blood samples from eight of them with higher levels of antibodies to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The 10 mAbs with “Greater affinity” by the peak trimer of 2019-nCoV were conserved for “An additional characterization”, indicates Cell Reports.
The development of this new neutralizing antibody marks a milestone in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and paves the way for better management of severe forms of the disease, as well as new prophylactic measures.
Another important advance against the coronavirus
Japanese scientists created what they call “Elite antibodies”, which were shown to be capable of defeating several variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which cause COVID-19, including at an extremely low dose.
Researchers from Hiroshima University, Kyoto University and other institutions also confirmed the effectiveness of antibodies against variants of the coronavirus, which are likely to be more contagious than the original strain or reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
“With blood samples collected from various COVID-19 survivors, we can now produce neutralizing antibodies in just 10 days more or less, ”says Tomoharu Yasuda, a professor of immunology at the University of Hiroshima and a member of the research team. “We hope that the antibodies help prevent patients from getting seriously ill and develop drugs to treat people with severe symptoms. “
Elite antibody treatment would be the most promising therapeutic intervention for neutralize the COVID-19 virus and its variants that already exist and may arise in the future.