Horse antibody therapies to contain COVID under development in Latin America

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
bfdb b bf bd f d d source
Researcher draws blood to measure levels of equine antibodies against COVID-19. Credit: Laura Rodríguez Oficina de Divulgación, Universidad de Costa Rica

Borrowing from decades of experience in producing snake antivenoms, scientists, veterinarians and technicians at a scientific and technical institute in Costa Rica have labored nonstop in recent months to produce a therapeutic formulation of equine antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Similar efforts are underway in Brazil and Argentina to tide these countries over until the arrival of an effective vaccine.

The effort’s objective was to harness the technology and experience the Clodomiro Picado Institute has acquired in its work using horse antibodies to fabricate antivenoms for snake bites during the past five decades. Every year, the antivenoms with purified equine antibodies produced at the institute save more than 500 people in Costa Rica and thousands more in other countries around the world.

Related article:  Why people with ADHD may be more creative
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

The Costa Rican project has an air of familiarity. “The idea behind the antibody therapy for patients with COVID-19 is similar to that of treating patients suffering from snakebite poisoning,” says Alberto Alape Girón, a microbiologist and lead researcher of the COVID-19 project at the Clodomiro Picado Institute. “We want to generate specific antibodies against viral structures in horses, purify the antibodies and give them to patients who are starting to fight the infection but whose immune system still does not produce enough antibodies to clear the viral particles,” he adds.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

The U.S. averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s a 21% improvement over the ...
a bee covered in pollen x

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists