Breakthrough in COVID-19 Treatment Market: Researchers Discover Nanoodies within Llamas that can help fight against SARS-CoV-2 virus

  • Analysis
  • 28-September-2021

Nanobodies bind tightly to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and neutralize within the cell culture. They are way more advantageous than human antibodies taken from recovered patients as they are cheaper and easier to use. Although human antibodies have taken a front seat in treating coronavirus in between the worst waves of the pandemic, they typically need to be administered through infusion from a needle. Unlike nanobodies, the patients need to visit the hospital to receive antibodies mandatorily.
A research team has shown that nanobodies generated from camels and llamas can be effective against fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus and, subsequently, COVID-19. The team discovered that molecules' short chains that can be easily scaled in laboratories resulted in a considerable decrease in signs of COVID-19 when given to infected animal models. The research has significant potential for the COVID-19 Treatment Market as these nanobodies can become a highly effective neutralizing SARS-CoV-2.
In the present study, the team demonstrated the generation of nanobodies by injecting a share of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein within a llama referred to as Fifi. The animal was a participant in the nanobody production facility. The spike protein is present on the virus's surface and is responsible for attaching to human cells for infecting them. The results reached from the experiments are the first phase in the development of a novel treatment against COVID-19, which will be invaluable in needing the pandemic.
Although vaccines have proven extremely useful, not all individuals respond to vaccination. Further immunity built through vaccines can also wane in individuals with time. As a result, developing medications against the virus is still required, especially since the world is not receiving vaccines at the same rate. This is why the risk of new variants causing deaths remains as they can bypass the emerging vaccine immunity.
The team states that nanobodies can be delivered simply to the airways with the help of a nebulizer or nasal spray. Denoting that patients can be self-administered at home, they don't need to visit hospitals for an injection. The treatment can be beneficial for those patients who get treatment directly on the place of infection inside the respiratory tract.
The present nanobodies, if approved, could be a cost-efficient and effective treatment applicable around the world mainly because they are easy to produce compared to human antibodies and do not require cold storage facilities to exist. 
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