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CSIR passes project to develop human monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19

Monoclonal antibodies will be virus-neutralizing and will be able to block the spread of infection by binding to the virus and making it ineffective.

May 8, 2020 13:58 IST
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The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has sanctioned the project to develop human monoclonal antibodies which will work as a therapy for COVID-19 infections.

The council has passed the project under its flagship named the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative Programme (NMITLI).

The project will bring together academia- Indian Institute of Technology, Indore and National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune and industry- Bharat Biotech and PredOmix Technologies, Gurugram for a public health emergency.

Objective:

As per Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, the purpose of the vaccination will be to protect the healthy ones against future infections but it may not alone provide the complete solution. There is a hope that monoclonal antibody therapy will provide a viable option.

What monoclonal antibodies will do?

These kinds of virus-neutralizing antibodies will be able to block the spread of infection by binding to the virus and making it ineffective. Monoclonal antibody therapy will be highly effective in COVID-19 cases and will be a safe method to stop the infections.

The development of the antibodies has been fast-tracked to make sure that the antibodies will be available in the next six months to improve the treatment efficiency.

Why alternate therapy is important?

There have been continuous efforts in the development of vaccines and drugs to control the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it is a slow and expensive process with uncertainties as well.  Therefore, it is important to have an alternate therapeutic regimen for early deployment.

The major question is how to treat the patients who are already infected, additionally, it has been still unknown how effective an anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccine will be for the elderly people and those who have co-morbidities.

Dr. Ella from Bharat Biotech informed that both Israel and Netherlands have announced the development of antibodies that will neutralize the virus. The approach has been to develop powerful neutralizing antibodies that can also block the mutational variants of the COVID-19 virus.

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