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Researchers Discover World’s First Human Antibody that Could Inhibit New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 14 Mar 2020
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Researchers have developed the world’s first human antibody that could inhibit the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and ‘offers potential for prevention and treatment of COVID-19’. A team of 10 scientists from the University of Utrecht (Utrecht, the Netherlands), the Erasmus Medical Centre (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), and biotech company Harbor BioMed (Cambridge, MA, USA) have published their research online on BioRxiv where it is under peer review before being published by the prestigious journal Nature.

During their earlier work on developing antibodies against MERS, SARS and another Hong Kong coronavirus (OC-43), the researchers had found antibodies that cross-reacted with those three different viruses and kept them from infecting. The researchers had stored the untested antibodies that did not react with all the three mutations, but did with SARS1, in the refrigerator. After the SARS2 crisis broke out, they immediately tested whether the antibodies that reacted with SARS1 also responded to SARS2 and then found the antibody that has now been published.

The researchers are now making efforts to tie up with a pharmaceutical company that can produce the antibody on a large scale as a medicine. According to the researchers, the antibody offers potential for the development of a medicine as well as a diagnostic test that everyone can perform at home to easily confirm if they are infected or not. However, before it can be marketed, the antibody is currently being made to undergo rigorous development and tests for toxicological properties which should take a few more months.

Related Links:
University of Utrecht
Erasmus Medical Centre
Harbor BioMed

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