A recent study showed that artificial antibodies can prevent infection and treat the viral corona disease at the same time, according to medical news Today’s medical website, Wednesday.
The emerging corona virus can enter the cells of the body, using an enzyme receptor called ACE2.
Researchers from Tulane University in New Orleans have been able to develop an antibody that prevents the virus from attaching to these receptors, which is imperative to prevent infection.
A deceptive future
First, researchers developed a “deceptive” receiver similar to ACE2, which the virus was able to identify through experiments in mice, just as it does with the real receptor, but without attaching to the cells of the body.
In this way, the phishing protein prevents the virus from sticking to the real receptor, thereby preventing it from entering the cell and causing infection.
The deceptive receptor is safe and soluble, but it does not stay in the body for long, and cannot reach the lining of the lungs, which is a must for Covid-19 epidemic treatment.
To overcome these problems, the researchers installed ACE2 at the end of an antibody to increase its stability and transport in the body. They invented four antibodies with different mutations, to increase the drug’s stability, lifespan, and ability to bind to the virus.
It is noteworthy that all antibodies have proven effective against the emerging virus, but MDR504 was the best adhering to the virus, even from normal, according to the researchers.
It reaches the lungs
In the next stage of their experiments, the researchers tested the drug in cultured cells using a false virus very similar to the real virus and found that MDR504 effectively neutralizes the virus and prevents it from entering the cells.
They then injected the antibody into the mice, reaching the lungs at levels likely to prevent infection.
“Unlike other materials that scientists are developing against the virus, this protein has been designed in a way that it can reach the lungs to neutralize the virus before it can infect the cells of the lungs,” says study author Dr. Durr Jay Coles of Tulane University.
It is also remarkable that the antibody remained in the rat’s body for a long time, exceeding six days.
An advantage of an antibody is that it is dual-purpose, meaning that it can be used as a prophylaxis of disease and a treatment at the same time.
Researchers first suggest that it be given to groups most vulnerable to the epidemic such as health care workers.
It is preferred to take it by injection, because the intestine may kill it if taken orally.
Given the prolonged survival of the protein in the body, Dr. Coles believes that the injection process can take place at a relatively spaced pace, “Based on our data, we believe that the drug can be given either every two weeks, or perhaps once a month.”
Among the features that add more importance to this drug, it can be used safely as a vaccine for people who are more likely to develop COFED-19, especially those who have undergone organ transplants, or who suffer from autoimmune diseases, according to the study.
Researchers have already begun to collaborate with a biotechnology company to further develop the drug and initiate the necessary clinical trials in humans.