Researchers from Utrecht University, together with fellow researchers from Erasmus MC and biotech company Harbor BioMed, have developed a human antibody that can inhibit the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) which causes the respiratory disease otherwise known as COVID-19. Netherlands' Erasmus Magazine reported.
The researches say that they do not want to raise false expectations, though it is a promising first step.
"Research leader Berend-Jan Bosch of the Utrecht University does not want to raise false expectations. It is a promising first step in the journey towards a cure however it is far too early to speculate about the potential efficacy in humans. The research is being reviewed by a leading scientific journal. Further comments can be provided once the article has been accepted," reads the message.
According to one of the people who identified it, the antibody that blocks the infection of SARS1 and SARS2 was already briefly lain in the fridge at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.
Professor of Cell Biology Frank Grosveld (71 years old) is part of a team of ten scientists. He posted the article about the discovery to BioRxiv last Thursday. BioRxiv is a website where biologists can publish their research before it has been peer-reviewed by a professional journal. The summary talks about an antibody against SARS2, the coronavirus that is causing the current pandemic (COVID-19). The antibody may help detect and prevent this form of Corona infection. This would, therefore, make the active antibody a world premiere.
The antibody still has to be tested on human beings and this will take a few months. Yet Grosveld is hopeful, according to Erasmus Magazine: “We are now trying to get a pharmaceutical company on board – that’s looking good, by the way – which can mass-produce the antibody as a medicine on a large scale. This is the very first antibody that we know of that will block the infection. And there is a good chance that this will also become a medicine that reaches the market. If this is taken by a patient, then it is expected that the infection can be stopped in that patient. So, the patient will have a chance of recovery.”