A research team in China has developed a new antibody that they say can neutralize Covid’s mutated omecron, after synthesizing the components of two antibodies produced by human immune cells.
Although these antibodies were independent, they were ineffective against Omicron — but the composite version was able to neutralize the Covid strain, according to researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai.
Calling this a surprising discovery, the researchers said the new treatment could put humans “a step forward in the race” against the coronavirus.
Researchers led by Professor Huang Jingyi, working at the National Center for Clinical Research on Respiratory Diseases in Guangzhou, developed eight antibodies in a short period of time by synthesising naturally produced human immune cells.
The team expressed shock at their success, as the technology they used was not intended to spread against Omicron but to treat another infectious disease, although Ginghi did not specify the other type of virus the researchers were investigating.
Bispecific antibodies are capable of neutralizing previous virus mutations, such as delta, as well as treating severe acute respiratory syndrome, limiting the virus’s ability to spread.
The team outlined their work and findings in a paper titled “Combating Omicron mutated with Neutral Non-Omicron Antibodies.” The research has yet to be peer-reviewed.
Chinese scientists hope the new approach to fighting the pandemic will help health officials “handling changing events by sticking to the basics.” In this way to produce a man-made antibody, the researchers suggest that “mass production won’t be a problem.”