Antibodies to fight COVID-19

A Delhi University Professor with his team is busy in his lab to produce a ‘lethal weapon’ to combat the novel coronavirus. If matrrialised, this research may become game changer in the global fight against COVID-19.

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  • Efforts underway to produce therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19.
  • Isolating genes encoding antibodies for neutralising the SARS-CoV-2.

Guwahati, April 12:

Indian scientists are researching on an important lead to find out a cure for COVID-19. It’s a proven fact that the virus invasion can be controlled by the antibodies produced in a body in response to the infection. This same principle is guiding an University of Delhi research team to find out a definite cure for novel coronavirus infection too.

COVID-19 is caused by the novel SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and it is resulting in many deaths all around the world. Already the global death toll has crossed 100,000 mark. No other pandemic in recent history had caused such devastation. However, a large number of infected people are also recovering despite not having any specific treatment for COVID-19. This is because of antibodies produced within the body in response to the virus invasion.

Over the years, passive transfer of antibodies obtained from the plasma of convalescent patients cured of infection has been used for treatment of numerous disease conditions such as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Rabies, and  Ebola. Today such therapeutic antibodies can be produced in the laboratory by DNA-based recombinant technologies. Efforts are in full swing globally to produce therapeutic antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

According to a press release from PIB, in India also one such effort is under way. This effort is being led by Professor Vijay Chaudhary at the University of Delhi South Campus-Centre for Innovation in Infectious Disease Research, Education and Training (UDSC-CIIDRET), with the support of the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.  

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Professor Chaudhary’s group is isolating genes encoding antibodies, which can neutralise the SARS-CoV-2, using a large antibody library already available in-house as well as a library made from cells of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 infection, the release stated.

These antibody genes will be used to produce recombinant antibodies in the laboratory, which, if successful in neutralising the virus, will become a perennial source of antibodies against this virus, both for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes.

This work is being undertaken as part of an Anti-COVID consortium under the leadership of Prof. Chaudhary and involving Dr. Amulya Panda at National Institute of Immunology and Dr. Sanjay Singh at Gennova Biopharmaceutical Limited, Pune (GBL).

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