Researchers from Utrecht University and Erasmus Medical Center have developed a human antibody that, according to them, offers the potential for the prevention and treatment of the COVID-19 coronavirus. It is called 47d11.
It's important not to give false hopes, but the discovery is promising, says the research leader Berend-Jan Bosch on website of the Utrecht University.
The world's first antibody against coronavirus
They argue that the antibody "neutralizes" the virus and "offers the potential to prevent and / or treat COVID-19, and possibly other future emerging human diseases caused by viruses of the Sarbecovirus subgenus."
"As far as we know, this is the first antibody in the world that blocks this infection," Grosveld told the magazine. "Finding something like this is very rare," he said.
Research is currently in peer review before it can be published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
The researchers also seek collaboration from a pharmaceutical company that can produce the antibody on a large scale as a medicine.
"Before it can be commercialized, the antibody must go through an extended development phase and be tested for toxicological properties", said Professor Frank Grosveld.
To cure and also to diagnose
"In addition to development as a drug, we want to use the antibody to set up a diagnostic test - one that anyone can do from home, so that people can easily find out if they have an infection or not," says Grosveld.
Grosveld says that taking a medicine based on this antibody against the coronavirus stops the infection and gives the patient time to recover.
Of course, there is no better cure than preventive, e many work on a coronavirus vaccine. "The development of a vaccine can take up to two years," notes the researcher. “Our drug can arrive much earlier, even in a month. It is more expensive to produce, but more rapidly available ”. The 47D11 antibody will be tested on patients in about a month.
The virologist Ab Osterhaus, involved in the research, said al Telegraaf that optimism about a drug must be mitigated. For some reason the antibody to the coronavirus may definitely not lead to a drug. "We don't think you can get a few pounds of this medicine and save the world with a snap of your fingers."