Scientists Rotterdam and Utrecht claim discovery of an antibody against corona
Scientists at the Erasmus Medical Center and Utrecht University say they have found an antibody against corona caused by the coronavirus, Erasmus Magazine reports.
“This is the very first antibody that we know blocks the infection and there is a good chance that it will also become a drug that will come on the market,” says Rotterdam professor of cell biology Frank Grosveld in the university magazine.
The researchers still had the antibody in the laboratory after previous research into similar virus infections. “We have to do something and maybe we have something,” they thought according to Grosveld. “That’s why we started immediately and worked around the clock.”
Not yet published
There are several caveats to make. The antibody has yet to be tested on humans, which takes months. The research has also not yet been assessed by colleagues. That is happening right now. If they approve, it is expected to be published. Now it is already online on a site where biologists share their research.
Research leader Berend-Jan Bosch (Utrecht University) does not want to raise false expectations. “It is a first promising step, but it is still too early to speculate about the potential efficacy in humans,” he said in a response to the NOS. “The study is being reviewed by a leading scientific journal. Further comments may be provided once the article has been accepted.
A real solution is a vaccine.
Grosveld explains that the antibody prevents the virus from being able to infect. It can be used to develop a drug against this corona infection (COVID-19).
The researchers are trying to get a pharmaceutical company to produce the medicine on a large scale. “If you take this as a patient, it is expected that the infection can be stopped in the patient. So the patient will have the chance to recover.”
“Prevention is better than cure, of course,” says Grosveld. “A real solution is therefore a vaccine, others are working on that. However, developing a vaccine takes two years.”