Therapeutic antibody drug in the works to help with COVID-19

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Therapeutic antibodies have been known to help a host of common ailment explained Dr. James Hildreth, CEO of Meharry Medical College, “There are already more than 40 antibody drugs on the market that treat everything from cancer, to psoriasis, to arthritis.”

It’s an approach scientist hope to apply to COVID-19. ​It started with isolating “B cells” in the blood from people who have recovered from the virus. ​”B cells,” Hildreth said, “Are the cells that make the antibodies.” ​

From there, those antibodies can be mass produced. ​”They can take a biotech technique and produce grams, and grams, and grams of these antibodies,” said Dr. Hildreth.

The idea that when someone contracts COVID-19, they’re prescribed a very potent drug made from specific antibodies.​ The biologic treatment wouldn’t come in the form of a pill, rather a shot. ​

​”Rather than giving them convalescent plasma, you’re going to give them this well-defined antibody that’s known to neutralize the virus,” Hildreth said, “The expectation is that this is going to be a great stop-gap until we get a vaccine. They believe in the next couple of months they’ll be able to mass produce these. You inject yourself with the antibody, and there’s a slow release process that continues to release it into your body over time.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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