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Saturday, February 4, 2023

How monoclonal antibodies lost the fight with new COVID variants | NPR

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The effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapies against newly discovered coronavirus strains has diminished. 

Monoclonal antibodies were the mainstay of COVID-19 outpatient therapies. More than 3.5 million infusions of the factory-grown proteins have been administered to patients in the U.S. since they first became accessible in 2020, even before the first immunizations, to help lower the chance of hospitalization. Their attractiveness was further weakened by the rise of Paxlovid antiviral tablets early this year. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins created in a lab that support your body’s immune system. Most people naturally produce antibodies as part of their immune system to constantly search for potential threats. Drug manufacturers and researchers at government institutions are currently retooling the approach. Joshua Tan, Chief of the Antibody Biology Unit at NIH  is extracting immune cells from recovered COVID patients’ blood.  The immune cells that respond to various coronaviruses produce antibodies that bind to a certain region of the spike protein that is constant across all of them.



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