Rancho Cordova researchers find possible new treatment for COVID-19

Scientists in Rancho Cordova are fast-tracking their research to clinical trials after successfully finding four antibodies that block the coronavirus during lab tests. Scientists around the world are looking for answers in the antibodies of people who have contracted and survived COVID-19. These antibodies are the immune system’s way of developing a defense against the virus. Those who have recovered from the virus are believed to have developed “protective immunity.” “Based on those who’ve developed protective immunity, we can look for who has the strongest protection,” said Dr. Chris Xu, of Thermogenesis Corp in Rancho Cordova. Xu, who has a PhD in immunology, said his company takes the samples from recovered patients and isolates the B cell, which is the small cell in the body that secretes the antibodies — or what he calls “the magic bullet” that fights off the virus. “Then we look to find if one, or two, or multiples of these antibodies can inhibit the virus, preventing the virus from entering the cell,” Xu said. Thermogenesis screened millions of B cells and narrowed down 16 antibodies that could possibly work in blocking the virus. Out of the 16, they found four that work extremely well. Scientists at Thermogenesis are now looking at using these four antibodies individually to develop drugs, or possibly combining them as a powerful cocktail to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. “The next step is we try to isolate polyclonal antibodies, that means one step further where we pool those to mitigate those individual variabilities and makes this more potent,” Xu said. “That’s the next step. And that can be available in the next two to three months if we move very fast.”Xu said they’ve applied for a fast-track to clinical trials, and if all that goes well, their treatment could be available in as early as six months.

Scientists in Rancho Cordova are fast-tracking their research to clinical trials after successfully finding four antibodies that block the coronavirus during lab tests.

Scientists around the world are looking for answers in the antibodies of people who have contracted and survived COVID-19. These antibodies are the immune system’s way of developing a defense against the virus. Those who have recovered from the virus are believed to have developed “protective immunity.”

“Based on those who’ve developed protective immunity, we can look for who has the strongest protection,” said Dr. Chris Xu, of Thermogenesis Corp in Rancho Cordova.

Xu, who has a PhD in immunology, said his company takes the samples from recovered patients and isolates the B cell, which is the small cell in the body that secretes the antibodies — or what he calls “the magic bullet” that fights off the virus.

“Then we look to find if one, or two, or multiples of these antibodies can inhibit the virus, preventing the virus from entering the cell,” Xu said.

Thermogenesis screened millions of B cells and narrowed down 16 antibodies that could possibly work in blocking the virus. Out of the 16, they found four that work extremely well.

Scientists at Thermogenesis are now looking at using these four antibodies individually to develop drugs, or possibly combining them as a powerful cocktail to treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

“The next step is we try to isolate polyclonal antibodies, that means one step further where we pool those to mitigate those individual variabilities and makes this more potent,” Xu said. “That’s the next step. And that can be available in the next two to three months if we move very fast.”

Xu said they’ve applied for a fast-track to clinical trials, and if all that goes well, their treatment could be available in as early as six months.


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