IN the present study, researchers have identified monoclonal antibody “cocktails” that are still effective against recent mutations.
In laboratory tests, a team of researchers has analyzed the efficacy of a range of Covid-19 antibody-based therapeutics against the latest variants of SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers noted that some combinations of monoclonal antibody therapeutics were less effective against these new variants.
However, they also found that other updated combinations, or cocktails, of monoclonal antibodies — which target areas of the virus that change less frequently — showed promise in neutralizing the latest virus mutations.
The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggests directions for the development of future therapeutics that may be more resistant to mutations of SARS-CoV-2.
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A central focus of scientific research in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been the development of vaccines.
However, scientists have also been looking at other therapeutics that may be effective in reducing transmission of the virus or decreasing the severity of its symptoms.
One such technology is monoclonal antibodies.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), monoclonal antibodies are developed in a laboratory and designed to copy the function of a person’s antibodies that they produce in response to an infection, which in this case is SARS-CoV-2.
In the development of therapeutics, scientists have also used antibodies taken from people who have contracted the virus.
However, many of these technologies are based around early variants of SARS-CoV-2. As the virus has been spreading, it has developed mutations, which in some cases can make the virus more infectious.
In the present study, the researchers wanted to see the effectiveness of Covid-19 therapeutics on the variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have become more infectious after developing mutations.
They tested these new variants in a laboratory context to see how effective different therapeutics are at neutralizing the virus.