George Mason University confirms that anti-coronavirus drug produced by the University of Costa Rica inhibits the virus. A light of hope is making us both very hopeful and proud. Since the pandemic started, a group of local committed scientists started looking at possible cures, and finally very positive results are arising.
The two antibody formulations prepared by the Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica (ICP-UCR), from plasma of horses hyperimmunized with viral proteins, are capable of inhibiting the infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that It produces COVID-19 disease. This was revealed by the results of tests carried out at George Mason University, in the United States, which confirmed that the antibodies produced in Costa Rica not only could prevent the disease from progressing in patients, but also that the plasma that neutralizes SARS CoV-2 is 100 times more powerful than convalescent plasma obtained from humans. This North American center has one of the highest biosafety laboratories in the United States for testing live viruses in an environment with all the conditions of isolation and biosecurity.
In the past four months, the researchers used various SARS-CoV-2 virus proteins to immunize six horses, inducing the immune system of these animals to produce specific antibodies. In total, there were four immunizations with different combinations of SARS-CoV-2 proteins that, at no time, harmed the health of the animals. This procedure with horses was developed at the institute long ago and is regularly used to produce snake antivenom. It is in fact one of the few labs in the world that produces snake antivenom, and the only one that uses horses.
Later, the scientists extracted the blood and separated the blood cells from their liquid part, called blood plasma, which contains the antibodies and finally, were used to make and package the new drug, which is an injectable liquid. Based on the specs provided by the lab at George Mason, a group of local professionals are currently preparing the protocol to be used for the clinical use of the new drug, which should be applied to patients in about 7 days.
At this point, the Clodomiro Picado Institute will focus on optimizing the production of the new drug with the aim of reducing costs and maximizing process performance.
The Horizontes Team