Covid-19: Marburg antibody drug gives confidence

In addition to the vaccines, they are the great hope in the fight against the coronavirus: antibody drugs. A special preparation from Central Hesse is now being tested in clinical studies.

  • antibody are made by the organism to ward off diseases.
  • Medication can also produce these artificially and so heavy Corona disease courses prevent.
  • A promising remedy Marburg is in the test phase.

Marburg – antibody help our immune system to defend itself against bacteria or viruses. The organism normally produces them independently to protect itself against pathogens. If the antibody come into contact with a foreign body to be combated, they combine with it – and thereby render the “intruder” harmless. After a Corona infection the body usually produces a number of different ones antibody. Also one vaccination calls this reaction of the Immune system emerged.

Artificial antibodies can help against corona

However, the antibodies can also be generated artificially and administered to an already infected patient, which can prevent a particularly severe course of the disease. Former US President Donald Trump received during his infection such an “antibody cocktail”. The drug came from the American manufacturer Regeneron and when Trump got it, it wasn’t even approved. It is now certified in the USA, but not yet in the EU. Nevertheless, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has already ordered cans for 400 million euros.

Studies recently found that the timing of administration is critical to the drug’s effectiveness. The earlier the artificial antibody the immune system support, the better they manage to do that Virus to fight, and in the best case to render harmless. However, if the disease is already well advanced and the patient is seriously ill, the funds are of little use. The body already has a large number on it Antibodies produced. Even more would then be too much of a good thing: Rather, an additional supply of artificial ones could be used Corona antibodies to “overshoot” the Immune system lead that in the worst case turns against one’s own organism – a known problem in the fight against Covid, without too Antibody agents.

In principle, however, the study shows good results for the drug. Patients with Antibodies that have been treated need to be treated much less often in hospital or intensive care units. In addition, the viral load in the pharynx decreased, the Risk of contagion was reduced by 80 percent.

Corona antibody drug from Marburg: quality over quantity

The research is still working on other remedies that show promise against Corona are, so also at the Marburg Philipps University. That developed there Antibody drug brings some advantages over the already known preparations. Instead of a whole cocktail Antibodies They focus on quality over quantity: from the vast amount Antibodies in the blood of one Corona infected the researchers isolated those who seem particularly suitable for a drug. The product created in this way has already been very successful in the laboratory and in animal experiments. It is now being tested in initial clinical studies at the University Hospital in Cologne, initially for its tolerance.

Stephan Becker, head of the Institute for Virology in Marburg, explains how his system works in an interview with Deutschlandfunk (DLF) Drug so: “You sort of relieve a patient’s immune system of the work by using the antibodythat usually a Infected then do it yourself, give it beforehand. And in that case these are not just one cocktail of different Antibodies, but these are individual, very specific and well-characterized antibodies that are able to prevent the infection of the SARS-Coronavirus to neutralize completely. ”

Use of antibody means for recently infected people

Allowed are Antibody agents not yet in the EU. So far, the drugs have also had to be administered via an infusion in a hospital. Stephan Becker’s team Marburg has come up with a solution for this: “What we have now considered as a special feature: That we should antibody give via an inhalative application so that this injection is practically not needed and the antibody then is exactly where it is needed, namely in the lungs. “

The Antibody drug can of course not be seen as a substitute for the existing measures. However, they are an effective addition too Vaccines and Protective measures like masks and distance rules. “Human monoclonal antibody are a promising component in the fight against new viruses like the SARS-Coronavirus-2“, Said Becker in a press release from the University of Marburg. The development of the Preparation could advance research a good deal. “If these antibodies prove to be effective against COVID-19 Should point out, this knowledge could be in the present as well as in the future Epidemics and Pandemic be helpful.”

The preparation from Marburg So it promises a lot. When should the new funds then be used? “The earlier, the better!”, Says infectiologist Florian Klein also in the DOM radio interview with a view to the previous data. He leads the studies on the at the University Clinic Cologne drug out Marburg. People are best for Antibody drugs who have only recently been infected, but have a high risk of a severe course and could possibly die from it. “What we can already see is that the patient should not be hospitalized or seriously ill,” says Klein.

Prophylactic use of the corona drug is conceivable

Also a prophylactic use for contact persons of Infected is conceivable for small, especially by Corona vulnerable people could get through the Antibody therapy protect. Some people with previous illnesses may have a weakened immune system vaccination none of the body’s own antibody to produce. This form of therapy would therefore be an alternative to vaccination. A fairly expensive one, however: one dose currently costs around 2000 euros.

The new funds could cause local outbreaks in, for example Nursing homes can be brought under control more quickly, as one does not have to wait for the protective effect of a vaccination. Nevertheless, the use of the Corona antibody agents be well thought out. Because after therapy they stay antibody a few weeks in the patient’s blood, one vaccination with the resources of Biontech, Pfizer and Moderna is not possible at first. In a researchers have made another study Marburg, Frankfurt and Great Britain have now identified an important reason from which the research is based Covid-19 drugs so slow, though Coronaviren have been researched for decades. (Pebastian Richter)

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