Amsterdam UMC makes major progress with coronavirus antibodies

Two effective antibodies for the coronavirus have been discovered by the Amsterdam UMC. Although their use on humans is still a while away, it’s an exciting step in the right direction.

Previously, antibodies from the MERS and SARS viruses have been used in research, but it is a great advantage to be able to work with coronavirus antibodies, the researchers say. The antibodies come from patients who have had coronavirus.

“These new antibodies are a hundred times stronger than the antibodies that were there,” says research leader Marit van Gils in an interview with RTL Nieuws This makes them cheap to produce, as you don’t need much of them for them to work. The plan is to basically clone the antibodies the researchers have now.

Public use still a while away

Animal testing will begin soon, and if the antibodies successfully attack the virus in laboratory animals, testing on humans should begin by early 2021. The antibodies could then be ready for public use about eighteen months to two years after that.

Virologist Gorben Pijlman from Wageningen University says he is cautiously enthusiastic about the antibodies. It will likely be used on people who have just been infected with the virus. Research is also underway to find even more powerful antibodies. These could be used as short-acting vaccines against the virus- kind of like how we take malaria pills before going to a malarial area. These would likely be used for healthcare workers.

You can follow DutchReview on Facebook for more updates on coronavirus in the Netherlands.

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva. 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


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