As the world awaits a Covid-19 vaccine, the next big advance in battling the pandemic could come from a class of biotech therapies widely used against cancer and other disorders — antibodies designed specifically to attack this new virus.
Development of monoclonal antibodies to target the virus has been endorsed by leading scientists, says Reuters in its report. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, called them “almost a sure bet” against Covid-19.
When a virus gets past the body’s initial defences, a more specific response kicks in, triggering production of cells that target the invader. These include antibodies that recognise and lock onto a virus, preventing the infection from spreading.
Monoclonal antibodies, grown in bioreactor vats, are copies of these naturally-occurring proteins.
Scientists are still working out the exact role of neutralising antibodies in recovery from Covid-19, but drugmakers are confident that the right antibodies or a combination can alter the course of the disease that has claimed more than 675,000 lives globally.
Read the full report here.