It has been reported that scientists working on treatments for coronaviruses may be on the verge of breaking into an antibody treatment that could save the lives of those infected.
An injection of cloned antibodies that thwart Covid-19 could be important for people in the early stages of infection, according to the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told the newspaper that the treatment being developed is “a combination of two antibodies” in an injected dose “because by having both, you reduce the risk of resistance to a single antibody. “
Antibody therapy is more expensive than producing vaccines, Soriot said the former would be a priority for the elderly and vulnerable “who may not be able to develop a good response to a vaccine.”
AstraZeneca signed an agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) on Thursday to help manufacture 300 million globally accessible doses of the candidate coronavirus vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford.
AstraZeneca has already started manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford to ensure that if it passes human trials successfully, it will be available in the fall. Trials of the potential vaccine have started in Brazil, a new epicenter of the pandemic, to ensure the study can be properly tested as transmission rates drop in the UK. The Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group started developing a vaccine in January, using a virus from chimpanzees.
One of the members of Cepi is the Serum Institute of India, which, according to the Sunday Telegraph, is considering other “parallel” partnerships with AstraZeneca that could lead to the funding of antibody therapy as standalone therapy.
Meanwhile, British vaccine maker Seqirus announced it is working in partnership with parent company CSL, Cepi and the University of Queensland to help develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Australia. Its manufacturing base in Liverpool produces an adjuvant, an agent that improves the immune response to a vaccine.