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Several types of monoclonal antibodies are now in clinical trials. If all goes well, such conifers can not only treat coronavirus infections but also prevent them. Can help millions, especially when the world is waiting for a vaccine, said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, who was not involved in the study.
Such studies may help researchers identify ideal antibody targets at the spike, Dr. Taylor said. Some fragments of proteins, for example, will never successfully mutate because they are essential for the ability to break down viruses in cells. This makes them easy prey for the immune system.
But new findings also indicate that single-antibody aggregates “may not be as successful”, Drs. Taylor said, at least over the long term. A safe bet may be to develop cocktails with a diverse mixture of antibodies.
Such mixtures would also more accurately mimic the body’s natural response to coronaviruses. In the study, the viruses were swept away with convulsant plasma samples – blood fractions donated by those recovered from Kovid-19 – struggling to infect the cells.
Some scientists, including the American biotechnology company Regeneron, are already attempting this combo approach, mixing two single types of monoclonal antibodies into a single treatment.
But Dr. Iwasaki said that antibody cocktails can be hard to bring to market. “Every time you make a drug, you get approval for each ingredient separately,” she said. He said that the data so far indicated that “you don’t need hundreds of monoclonal ones to eliminate this virus”. Two can be many.
Variety lessons may be even more potent for vaccines, marshalling a multi-faceted immune response. Some immune cells and molecules will be homologous to the spike, while others may prefer other parts of the virus. An immunologist at Stafford University, Dr. Taya Wang said that vaccines, rather than spike alone, present the body with several pieces of coronovirus, which might be a better shot to trigger the suit of these strongholds.