The Race for a Super-Antibody Against the Coronavirus

This article in the New York Times tells the story of a network of scientists is chasing the pandemic’s holy grail: an antibody that protects against not just the virus, but also related pathogens that may threaten humans.

A network of scientists is chasing the pandemic’s holy grail: an antibody that protects against not just the virus, but also related pathogens that may threaten humans.

Dozens of companies and academic groups are racing to develop antibody therapies. Already Regeneron and the drug company Eli Lilly have requested emergency use authorizations for their products from the Food and Drug Administration. These drug companies have the long experience and deep pockets needed to win the race for a powerful antibody treatment. But some scientists are betting on a dark horse: Prometheus, a ragtag group of scientists who are months behind in the competition — and yet may ultimately deliver the most powerful antibody. Prometheus is a collaboration between academic labs, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and a New Hampshire-based antibody company called Adimab.

The group’s antibody is not expected to be in human trials until late December, but it may be worth the wait. Unlike the antibodies made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly, which fade in the body within weeks, Prometheus’s antibody aims to be effective for up to six months.

“A single dose goes a long way, meaning we can treat more people,” said Kartik Chandran, a virologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the group’s leader.”

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The Race for a Super-Antibody Against the Coronavirus
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