To develop drugs based on antibodies to the coronavirus began scientists all over the world. They differ from transfused plasma had been ill COVID-19 patients the higher concentration of the neutralizing particles. Pilot drug promises to release this fall, one major us pharmaceutical company. We found out whether the drug may be “the most effective against the coronavirus,” as many had called it, and whether working in Russia on the creation of something like that.
The first clinical trials of the drug on the basis of antibodies to COVID-19 will start in the USA in June.
The principle of the creation of such drugs is not new. How they are created, said the head of the laboratory of biochemistry of viral infections of the Institute of molecular biology. Engelhardt Alexander Ivanov:
Antibody is a protein that can bind and neutralize some other protein. If this viral protein is a protein Spike, the one who is responsible for communication of the coronavirus to the receptor cells of the patient, this antibody is likely to prevent the infection of the cells. It is called “neutralizing antibody”.
Not all antibodies that detect the professionals in a patient’s blood can be neutralizing?
Normal blood recover from a large number of different antibodies, which originate from B-cells (or B lymphocytes). Each antibody obtained from a clone of B-lymphocytes and “learns”, and then neutralizes any particular piece of foreign protein. In other words, in order to specifically block the Spike protein of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, you have a vast array of different antibodies to find one that will deal with it purposefully.
– How do you find them?
– Scientists isolated from the blood of ill patients, B-cells, select individual cells and determine what antibodies they produce. Then, these cells divide and amongst them looking for the one that creates the desired antibody. If I’m lucky, they’ll find a cage, in the next step, if they will be quite a lot of them will choose the most productive, providing a strong antibodies against desired viral protein.
And then the experts will determine the structure of this high-quality antibodies and biotechnology accumulated the necessary quantity to create medicines. This antibody is called monoclonal (from a single clone of b-cells). And it will only interact with a specific protein.
This quest is a strong antibodies, able to withstand the COVID-19, except the United States, now held in Europe and Israel.
Director of the Center for genetics and reproductive medicine Genetico Artur Isaev told how confident currently, scientists are in the power of antibodies to coronavirus.
– Use of antibodies in the fight against coronavirus can and using the plasma from patients who recovered. To create a single product based on the selected antibodies, it is necessary to answer the question: does the antibody response sufficient to neutralize COVID-19.
– That is, scientists are not yet sure whether the transfusion of plasma?
– The fact of the matter. Objectively, comprehensively it helps. But effective to call this method too early. Now plasma transfused to patients at a late stage of the disease, after pneumonia, and the results, I must say not particularly impressive. Some improvement that occurs suggests that the effect of antibodies connected your own cellular immunity of the patient.
Perhaps plasma should be transfused earlier. Then, convinced of its effectiveness, I think we can begin to develop a drug based on monoclonal antibodies. As regards the first this American medication, look how successful it was in clinical trials this summer.
According to the head of one of the laboratories research University, the work of such Russian scientists until light. “A very high risk to spend a lot of money, which after does not pay off – said the researcher. In the race for who will be the first to create such a drug, it was necessary to join in January. But who could then say, pass the coronavirus in two months or remain for a longer period? No we do not take risks wanted.
As for the Americans, who are now ahead of all, their company is so strong and well-funded that they are not afraid to take the risk. Now, as you can see, they are ahead of everyone.”