Friday 10 July 2020

Amsterdam researchers identify ‘promising’ antibody in COVID-19 patients

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Researchers at Amsterdam’s UMC teaching hospital say they have found ‘promising’ antibodies which may eventually lead to treatment for COVID-19, public broadcaster NOS reports.

The antibodies, which doctors say are a hundred times more powerful than the antibodies from earlier coronaviruses, were found in the blood of patients from Amsterdam who had recently had COVID-19.

‘Provided these antibodies work, it means that you would only need a very small quantity and that medication using them can be made fairly cheaply,’ research chief Marit van Gils told the broadcaster.

Amsterdam UMC will be starting a trial on animals shortly and is hoping to test the treatment on people in January 2021.

The search will still be on for even more powerful antibodies so a mix of these can be used for a vaccine, NOS said.

Meanwhile pharmaceuticals subsidiary Janssen Biologics in Leiden will be testing a vaccine it is developing in July.

And at the end of May, Erasmus university researcher Frank Grosveld told NPO current affairs programme Dit is de Dag that it is to partner a big US pharmaceuticals company to develop a medicine from an antibody which can block infection by coronavirus.

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