Researchers at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have isolated antibodies from several COVID-19 patients that, to date, are among the most potent in neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
These antibodies could be produced in large quantities by pharmaceutical companies to treat patients, especially early in the course of infection, and to prevent infection, particularly in the elderly.
“We now have a collection of antibodies that’s more potent and diverse compared to other antibodies that have been found so far, and they are ready to be developed into treatments,” says David Ho, MD, scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, who directed the work.
Though a number of drugs and vaccines in development for COVID-19 are in clinical trials, they may not be ready for several months. In the interim, SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies produced by COVID-19 patients could be used to treat other patients or even prevent infection in people exposed to the virus. The development and approval of antibodies for use as a treatment usually take less time than conventional drugs.