Huge bioreactors: a US company wants to develop in cows, antibodies against Corona

A new weapon against the Coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) that causes the lung disease Covid-19, is a couple of stables near the city of Sioux Falls in the U.S. state o

Huge bioreactors: a US company wants to develop in cows, antibodies against Corona

A new weapon against the Coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) that causes the lung disease Covid-19, is a couple of stables near the city of Sioux Falls in the U.S. state of South Dakota – in the Form of milk cows eat their hay. But it's not the normal Cloven-hoofed animals, as researchers of the biochemistry company, SAb Biotherapeutics have changed their genetic material. Now, some of your immune cells that carry portions of the DNA that come from people. They contain the genetic information for the antibody directed against the body of the invading pathogens.

These defence weapons can be targeted to specific microbial exercise. To boost production, it is sufficient to inject the animals with the pathogen, or at least some of its components. "Then the whole of the disease-fighting power of the human antibody unfolds," said SAb Biotherapeutics.

Specifically wants to produce the company's antibodies, which recognize the so-called barbed-protein and block. With this biomolecule Sars-CoV-2 attaches itself to its target cells in the body, before it penetrates into it. The anti-body-to increase production, stimulate the researchers are the immune cells with a special vaccine that contains parts of the viral genome. "This optimized technology leads to large amounts of different antibodies, a highly potent therapy as a result", they promise.

There were already previous Attempts with cow antibodies

in fact, this offers several advantages over the conventional method in which drugs or vaccines by means of cell cultures or transgenic tobacco plants are obtained. Thus, ruminants generally react with a stronger immune response to infections. Further more, the blood circulates in the veins of cows than smaller mammals, which were genetically reprogrammed to suppliers of human biomolecules, and it contains per Milliliter twice as many antibodies as human blood. "A cow can supply per month enough antibody to treat several hundred patients," says SAb Biotherapeutics-in-chief Eddie Sullivan in the scientific journal "Science".

  • All the latest developments in the Corona of a pandemic, you read in the News-Ticker of FOCUS Online.

The method has yet another advantage. In General, biotechnology companies are set to fight infections on a single type of antibody ("monoclonal antibodies"), which is directed against a particular section of a Virus and just to tie this one. The cows in South Dakota there are a number of so-called polyclonal antibodies, which can detect multiple viruses-components. "That is the natural way our body to combat diseases," explains Sullivan. "This diversity makes the cow-molecules are more effective than monoclonal antibodies, and they function even if a Virus mutated."

In the development of new Anti-Covid-19 weapon could be based SAb Biotherapeutics to earlier Experiments with cow-antibodies. You should attack the causative agent of the Severe Acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the 2002/2003 worldwide nearly 800 people died. He is also a Coronavirus, related to SARS-CoV-2. "This gave us the Knowledge to focus us on the right target," stresses Sullivan. "Our cows produced against the sting protein of SARS-CoV-2 antibody within seven weeks."

no of animals produced antibody is approved for the treatment

However, all the experts of cows as the most appropriate anti-body source, are not convinced. So the infections Loge Manish Sagar said by the Boston University Medical Center to "Science," that he will remain "sceptical until I see further evidence that the production of antibodies in cows, easier to implement, and economically feasible". After all, no of animals produced antibody was approved for the treatment of diseases.

The virologist William Klim Stra from the University of Pittsburgh contradicts. "The animals are actually huge bioreactors," he says. In his laboratory Klim tested Stra, how effective is the cow antibody to SARS-CoV-2 combat. At the same time, he compared their therapeutic potency of antibodies from the blood healed Covid-19-patient came. As it turned out, prevented the antibodies of the ruminants are four times better than that of the convalescents, that the pathogen cells entert. "These data suggest that the therapeutic human polyclonal antibodies neutralize the Virus very effectively," says Klim Stra.

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For the infections Jeffrey Henderson of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (US, Missouri) are lying to the cow antibodies ", the next logical step after the convalescent blood." The approach is founded on solid science and experience going back over a century.

scientists expect the help of other project

In the next few months, SAb Biotherapeutics plans to begin clinical Trials with the cow antibodies. It should not only show whether infusions with proteins healthy people from infection with SARS-CoV-2 to protect, but also whether they can help patients who already suffer from Covid-19.

in The fight against the pandemic, the promise of the scientists is also planning the help of a further project: The immunologist Michael Mina, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston (US-Massachusetts), a Global Immunological Observatory ("Global Immunological Observatory"; in short, GIO) set up.

More of the Coronavirus

It is based on analysis techniques that can demonstrate to thousands of different antibodies, each in a few milliliters of blood. This would establish the presence of certain bacteria or viruses circulate in the population of a country or a Region. "If a GIO overcoming some technical and logistical hurdles, and adequately funded, it can be a powerful tool for detecting and fighting diseases," says Minna.

The samples are to donation of blood or of centres for the production of blood products, but also from the heel blood of newborns, these are regularly examined for hereditary diseases. The analyses are carried out anonymously, only the Region from which they were obtained, is noted. Chips, which can identify hundreds of thousands of antibodies, are already on the market.

Can be said to "Hot Spots" before?

Currently, the Mina and his colleagues in the Massachusetts a laboratory for a pilot project. In it, you want to examine millions of anonymous blood samples, which originate from the internationally active company Octapharma. This develops and distributes drugs for the treatment of disorders of blood coagulation.

The GIO Team wants to find out, how by the identification of antibodies to the spread of Sars-CoV-2 can be used to track, but also whether local outbreaks or the formation of "Hot Spots" to be predicted can. "Although people often form a while after infection, antibodies in Sars-CoV-2, it takes one to two weeks," admits Mina. "However, in the event of an outbreak not too long." The blood tests could also provide valuable information. "This would be in New York for just a few people, we would have noted that Sars-CoV-2 was already in February," confirms Mina, "but Then Governor Andrew Cuomo would have been enough munitioniert, the Lockdown of the city on the 1. to be held on 19. To impose in March.“

"Completely wrong!": Karl Lauterbach and Wolfgang Kubicki zoffen in ARD-Talk, FOCUS Online/Wochit "Completely wrong!": Karl Lauterbach and Wolfgang Kubicki zoffen in the ARD Talk

Updated Date: 26 June 2020, 12:27

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