A team of Chinese scientists has isolated several antibodies that it says are “extremely effective” at blocking the ability of the new coronavirus to enter cells, which eventually could be helpful in treating or preventing COVID-19.
There is currently no proven effective treatment for the disease, which originated in China and is spreading across the world in a pandemic that has infected more than 850,000 and killed 42,000.
Zhang Linqi at Tsinghua University in Beijing said a drug made with antibodies like the ones his team have found could be used more effectively than the current approaches, including what he called “borderline” treatment such as plasma.
Among the first 20 or so antibodies tested, four were able to block viral entry and of those, two were “exceedingly good” at doing so.
The antibodies are not a vaccine but could potentially be given to at-risk people with the aim of preventing them from contracting COVID-19.