As mentioned, the position paper shows that 89 companies are in various stages of development of monoclonal antibodies to treat corona. Of the 89 treatments in development, 13 are in clinical research stages (stage 1 and above), 24 are in preclinical stages and the rest in more initial stages.
Among the companies that are in an advanced stage of development is Regeneron, which has developed an antibody that has been given to US President Donald Trump experimentally. Antibody therapy may be an effective, but expensive, solution for patients who belong to risk groups.
Antibody therapy mimics the activity of the immune system against the corona virus and is a kind of passive vaccine. The use of antibodies can be done by administering plasma from recovering patients, but in this method there is insufficient control over the levels of the antibodies and there is no uniformity between doses.
Another solution is to develop monoclonal antibodies (from one cell) against the virus, based on the response of the recovering immune system. In companies that develop the treatment, the best antibodies are isolated and produced in a uniform and good amount.
The most advanced development companies that have already reached the third trial stage are Regeneron, Eli-Lily, Weir and Saltarion (a South Korean company). Other companies that are in advanced stages of development are Jonshi Biosciences, Astraznica, Beijing, Sorrento and more.
Against the backdrop of promising findings from primary tests and treatments, which show a reduction in viral load and symptoms in mild to moderate patients and a reduction in the risk of hospitalization, some companies have already applied for approval of treatments for emergency use by the U.S. Drug Administration. Some may receive the approval by the end of 2020.
Unicellular antibody-based drugs and treatments are often very expensive, due to the complex manufacturing process. The cost of these treatments is in the thousands of dollars for a single dose. In addition, their production capacity is very limited and stands at about one million servings per year.
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