What are Monoclonal antibodies?

Recently, scientists conducted experiments on monoclonal antibody cocktail named REGEN-COV2. Antibody has been found to be life-saving treatment for severely affected Covid-19 patients.

What are Monoclonal Antibodies?

Monoclonal antibodies are artificial antibodies that perform the activity of our immune systems. They are produced by extracting specific antibodies from human blood and then cloning them. They are designed to target a virus or specific part of one the virus. For example, REGEN-COV2 is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies that targets SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Monoclonal antibodies bind to specific parts of spike protein and block its ability to infect healthy cells.

Uses of Monoclonal antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat cancers, Ebola and HIV, besides covid-19. Research, amid the covid-19 pandemic, are optimistic about abilities of monoclonal antibodies in reducing the risk of hospitalisation. Monoclonal antibodies have also shown ability to retain activity against multiple variants of covid-19 virus.

Limitation of Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal therapies have shown results in high-risk groups with mild to moderate Covid-19 infections. However, they are not approved for use in severe Covid-19 cases that require oxygen. Further, emerging variants like Delta Plus have also displayed ability to nullify the use of monoclonal antibodies.

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