A team of ten science researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and the University of Utrecht claim they are the first in the world to discover an antibody capable of fending off an infection with the Coronavirus variant Covid-19. The discovery could lead to an antiviral medication, and the ability for people to test themselves at home for the presence of the virus.

“I am too old to jump on a table,” said cellular biology professor Frank Grosveld to Erasmus Magazine. Their article is undergoing a peer review by other researchers on the online platform BioRxiv, and they believe it well then be published by top science journal Nature.

We announce here a human monoclonal antibody neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 (and SARS-CoV), ‘the researchers write in the abstract of their academic paper. This is the SARS-2 virus, which briefly induces disease 19, or Covid-19, caused by coronavirus.

“They say the antibody they find “neutralizes” the virus and “offers the ability to prevent and/or treat COVID-19, and probably other possible emerging human diseases caused by Sarbecovirus subgenus viruses as well.”

“As far as we know, this is the very first antibody that blocks the infection,” Grosveld explained to the magazine. “Finding something like this is very rare,” he said.

Their work does not necessarily result in a vaccine but instead a new drug that could be used to treat anyone infected with the existing strain of coronavirus. It could be produced much faster than a vaccine, but it would take months of testing, he said, adding that the development of a vaccine would also be more costly.

“We are now trying to get a pharmaceutical company on board – which is looking promising, by the way – that can produce the antibody on a large scale as a medicine,” Grosveld said.

“If you were to take this as a patient, it is expected – only an expectation right now – that the infection will be stopped. And so it can give the patient an opportunity to recover,” he told the magazine.

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