The fight against COVID-19 continues throughout the U.S. A biotechnology company in South Dakota is using cows to produce human antibodies to fight SARS-CoV-2. Clinical trials using the antibodies will begin this summer.
“This is promising,” Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security told ScienceMag.org. “We want to have as many countermeasures as we can.”
The approach to producer antibodies being used by SAb Biotherapeutics was developed by researchers 20 years ago. According to ScieneMag.org, the company genetically alters dairy cows so that certain immune cells carry the DNA that allows people to make antibodies. The change allows the animals to manufacture large quantities of human antibodies against a pathogen protein injected into them.
Cows are a good choice for producing antibodies because they have a lot of blood and their blood can contain twice as many antibodies per milliliter as human blood, said Eddie Sullivan, SAb Biotherapeutics’s president and CEO.
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