The Promise of Monoclonal Antibodies
Much attention has been given to drugs and vaccines under development for Covid-19, but several experts are turning to monoclonal antibodies as a potential therapy. As Markham Heid reports for Elemental, monoclonal antibodies are drugs that contain specialized proteins that are intended to stop SARS-CoV-2 from infecting healthy cells. “In many ways, these drugs do the work of a vaccine, only they do it more quickly and efficiently — if also less durably,” Heid writes.
The National Institutes of Health is on board. “Antibody-based therapies may offer one of the best near-term options for developing safe, effective treatments for Covid-19,” said Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the NIH, in a blog post published in May. In a best-case scenario, says Heid, experts say that monoclonal antibodies could act as a “bridge” drug that provides much needed help until a vaccine is available and widely distributed.
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