Researchers from Lausanne discover highly effective Covid antibodies
Progress in the fight against the corona pandemic: A Swiss research team has discovered an antibody that largely neutralizes all known variants of the virus.
The antibody was isolated from the lymphocytes of a Covid 19 patient, write the ETH Lausanne (EPFL) and the Vaudois University Hospital (CHUV) in a statement on Tuesday. For the researchers, it is clear: “It is one of the most effective antibodies that have been identified against SARS-CoV-2.”
According to the new findings, the antibody acts against all variants of the virus and effectively prevents the pathogen from penetrating the lung cells and infecting them. The replication of the virus is stopped and the immune system can eliminate it. Hamsters treated with the antibody remained infection-free despite the highly infectious dose. Clinical trials are planned for the end of 2022.
Opportunity for people with weak immune systems
The antibody can be given prophylactically to patients. It is designed to protect for up to six months. “This makes it a very attractive preventive option to protect vulnerable unvaccinated people or vaccinated people who have not been able to provoke an immune reaction,” it continues. Immunocompromised people, cancer patients or transplant patients could be injected with the antibody two to three times a year.
The development of the new antibody paves the way for improved treatment of severe forms of the disease. It also enables new prophylactic measures for people with a weakened immune system. Nevertheless: “The discovery is not intended to replace vaccination.” This is still the most effective method of protecting against infection. (wap)