The ICMR in collaboration with a Hyderabad -based biopharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited has developed “antisera” prepared by injecting inactivated SARS-COV2 in horses, this “antisera” is highly purified and can be a potential treatment for COVID-19.
“ICMR and Biological E. Limited, Hyderabad has developed highly purified antisera (raised in animals) for Prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19” ICMR tweeted.
The “antisera” is yet to undergo human clinical trials after than only safety and efficacy will be established.
According to the experts Highly purified “antisera” can also bring some effective treatment for Covid-19.“For a disease like Covid-19 for which there is no effective treatment or preventive vaccine, any development which offers hope is good news. The use of animal-derived antibodies to treat human illnesses is an age-old approach.” Say’s Dr Lalit Kant , Former HOD, Epidemiology deptt, ICMR
In the past animal-derived antibodies have been used to treat tetanus cases and snake bites. “I remember the use of diphtheria anti-toxin, a Nobel prize-winning discovery in 1901, for management of severe diphtheria cases. Horse derived antibodies have also been used to treat tetanus cases and of snake bites. The use of human convalescent plasma for management of Covid-19 cases was not found to be effective by an ICMR led the study. One of the reasons may have been the quality and quantity of the neutralizing antibodies in the convalescent sera. This can perhaps be overcome by developing antibodies in animals. However, the safety of animal-derived antibodies have always been a concern. Cases of serum sickness have been reported in the past. Presently there is a move to shift to non-animal approaches for the generation of antibodies like sequence-defined recombinant antibodies (rAbs) which offer greater advantages. There has been progress towards development of non-animal antibodies against SARS CoV-2 too.” Say’s Dr Lalit Kant, Former HOD, Epidemiology Deptt,ICMR