Argentine researchers have developed a therapeutic serum that, via in-vitro tests, has shown the ability to neutralise the SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes Covid-19, the government has announced.
"This is a hyperimmune anti-Covid-19 serum for passive immunisation," the Health Ministry said in a statement.
With this result, carried out by a laboratory from the firm Inmunova, which is participating in the project, will now move onto a phase of clinical trials iniolving patients, it added.
Passive immunisation involves administering antibodies to patients against an infectious agent, to cause a blockage and prevent it from spreading.
The serum is similar to those used to treat snake bites and scorpions bites, tetanus toxin poisoning, exposure to rabies, and infections such as avian influenza, the statement said
According to reports, during development a recombinant protein of the virus was used as an antigen to obtain polyclonal antibodies. The serum produced contains a large number of these antibodies with neutralising capacity, which could prevent the virus from entering the cells, which is where it multiplies.
This is the first potential drug produced to treat patients with Covid-19 developed in Argentina and it's result of joint effort by the public and private sectors.
The Immunova laboratory is cooperating on the project with the Argentine Biological Institute (BIOL), the National Administration of Laboratories and Institutes of Health Dr. Malbrán, with the collaboration of the Instituto Leloir Foundation (FIL), Mabxience and the National Council of Science and Technology (Conicet) and the National University of San Martín.
Another passive immunisation method is also under evaluation, which involves the use of plasma convalescents with antibodies generated from recovered patients, as the world awaits the development of a long-term vaccines.