Regulator greenlights trials with anti-coronavirus serum

coronavirus Butantan Institute. Photo: Luiz Barrionuevo/Shutterstock
Butantan Institute. Photo: Luiz Barrionuevo/Shutterstock

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa gave its authorization for human trials on an anti-coronavirus serum developed by the São Paulo-based Butantan Institute. The institute requested clearance on March 24, but Anvisa requested further documentation before giving the nod.

The serum is produced in partnership with the University of São Paulo and “consists of a concentrated dose of antibodies,” according to Dimas Covas, the head of the Butantan Institute. He claims that the serum should be used on individuals who contract the coronavirus, as soon as the first symptoms begin to show. 

“Its goal is to prevent the disease from evolving [into a severe infection],” said Mr. Covas, during a press briefing. Late in March, Butantan said it had already produced 3,000 bottles of the serum, ready for use as soon as regulators granted their approval.