Russia will create a drug for the treatment of COVID-19 based on monoclonal antibodies. The grant for its development was received by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamaleya. Previously, an analogue of this drug for a new coronavirus infection was treated US President Donald Trump.
It is expected that the results of the development of Russian scientists can be presented in the fall or at the end of 2021.
What is known about the new drug being developed in Russia?
As told TASS Director of the N.F. Gamaleya Center Alexander Gintsburg, the drug will contain monoclonal antibodies. “These are actually the antibodies that protect [от вируса и находятся] in the plasma of those who have been ill, only which will be obtained by a genetically engineered method outside the human body and in a concentrated form, ”he explained. According to the scientist, one of the main laboratories of the Center is currently developing the drug.
How are monoclonal antibodies used in the treatment of COVID-19?
Monoclonal antibodies are proteins artificially produced in the laboratory that are similar in their effects to those produced by human immune cells. These antibodies are capable of recognizing a specific site of the pathogen and acting on it.
In October, US President Donald Trump received a cocktail of antibodies manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as part of his coronavirus treatment. Four days later, he was able to leave the hospital and return to the White House.
At the end of November, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of this drug in emergency cases for patients at high risk of severe COVID-19. Prior to that, the company had to interrupt trials on critically ill patients to suspend due to “potential safety problems and insufficient information about the risks.” The drug is recommended for patients with mild to moderate new coronavirus infection at risk of developing a severe form of the disease. In most cases, these are the elderly and patients with chronic diseases.
On December 25, the trials of a similar drug were announced in the UK. It is intended to prevent the development of the disease in people who have been in contact with a sick coronavirus. In particular, this therapy can be used as an emergency aid to provide instant immunity to patients in hospitals, residents of nursing homes, people living with those who have contracted COVID-19, as well as students.
The drug, which includes two injections, was developed by scientists from University College London (UCLH) and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which previously released its coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University. Experts expect that their development will provide the rapid formation of immunity and protection against coronavirus for a period of six to 12 months, according to The Guardian. If approved by regulators, the drug will be available to the public in March or April 2021.
There are contraindications. Be sure to consult your doctor.