Monoclonal antibodies are being developed in new ways to treat Covid-19, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Covid-19 has revolutionized many things, including how antibodies to fight the infection are developed. Stuart Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Ray: There’s some really exciting technologies here. An antibody has two major features, it’s shaped like a Y. The tips of the Y bind the virus and then the tail of it people often kind of ignore but it actually has all of the machinery for the body’s management of that antibody. With engineering of that tail, they’ve been able to make antibodies that can stay in the circulation for three to six months so we may see opportunities to protect people giving monoclonal antibodies that last a long time, can provide a layer of protection that we can’t provide through vaccination.  :32

Ray emphasizes that these long lasting antibodies may be especially helpful in people who are immunocompromised, such as transplant recipients or those undergoing certain types of cancer treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.