Like any other virus that we are forced to mitigate, COVID-19 comes with three potential pharmaceutical defenses. Of course, a vaccine is the most preferable. This is the holy grail and it would allow us to remain safe in the future. Meanwhile, those who have already been infected can rely on antiviral medication.
Antibody therapy is the third and final option. While this therapy can treat those who have fallen ill or provide preventive assistance, the effects do not last. This form of therapy does not offer the same level of durability that a vaccine can. On the other hand, this is the easiest defense for medical researchers to successfully develop.
Antibodies are naturally produced by the human body. This significantly reduces the risk factors, allowing the therapy to be brought to market before the other two options. Jacob Glanville is an immune system specialist who works as a biologist. He has received a great deal of attention for his informative Netflix documentary on this topic.
“Pandemic” offers viewers a closer look at the process of creating a helpful vaccine. While people are understandably skeptical of scientists who are promising miracle cures right now, Glanville has been able to provide useful insights. He is not like the charlatans who are going on television and telling people to use various chemicals.
Tucker Carlson, we are looking in your direction here. He gave valuable airtime to a French study that turned out to be illegitimate at best. Glanville, on the other hand? Everything about him seems to be legitimate. Right now, we have very few options for taming the virus outside of social distancing.
Until we have viable pharmaceutical weapons, all we can do is stay home and hope for the best. There are plenty of scientists who are already working on antibody treatment ideas. Chinese scientists have been able to isolate hundreds of antibodies that are proven to bind with the coronavirus’ protein.
Antibodies have been tested and the aforementioned scientists have located two different antibodies that are believed to block COVID-19 from entering a patient’s cells. Glanville decided to take a different approach to this process. He chose to study the antibodies that were used to repel a past virus that caused a great deal of consternation: SARS.
Anti-#COVID19 #therapeutic update. After 9 weeks we have generated extremely potent picomolar antibodies that block known #neutralizing #ACE2 #epitopes, blocking the novel #coronavirus from infecting human cells. Read more at https://t.co/Fht9buIZkU. pic.twitter.com/2v7NMk7kyZ
— Dr. Jacob Glanville (@CurlyJungleJake) April 1, 2020
This makes sense, doesn’t it? The coronavirus and SARS are related in a genetic sense. If Glanville is to believed, this strategy was the right one. The SARS antibodies have been tweaked and these mutations are quickly producing the proper antibodies. Hope is alive after all.
These antibodies have essentially blocked the doorway to the human cells that are being affected. This keeps the virus from being able to make its way inside and begin the replication process. Glanville believes that the antibodies could be given to someone who is already infected, allowing them to become fully protected within 20 minutes.
Doctors and medical professionals could also receive the antibodies as a means of protection. These antibodies could provide up to 10 weeks of valuable assistance. If enough of these medications could be manufactured quickly, we just might be able to gain a foothold during the mitigation process.
The process is still underway, though. There is much work to be done before the antibodies could be issued to the general public. Glanville is now sending the antibodies to the military. From there, they are going to be tested against the actual virus. If the early results are encouraging, human trials could begin as soon as July.
What happens if the human trials go according to plan? The public may be given access to the antibodies by the time fall rolls around. This is a long wait, given the current circumstances. Unfortunately, this may be the best plan that we have at our disposal. On the bright side, Dr. Fauci is optimistic about our ability to contain a secondary outbreak come fall.
Hopefully, the process is successful and humans are given access to the medications that they need. We need to be taking the proper steps over the course of the spring and summer. If successful, a fall outbreak could be stopped before it even has a chance to get started.
For those of us who are tired of quarantine and looking to get back to our normal lives, this is the best news that we could receive. A vaccine would be even better but the best case scenario estimates on that are not as helpful. We would have to wait at least one year, if we are lucky. Biologists like Glanville hold the key to our safety during this waiting period.