Brazilian anti-coronavirus serum close to human trials

serum trials coronavirus
Photo: Tomaz Silva/ABr

Researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro await regulatory clearance to begin human testing of an anti-coronavirus serum developed from the plasma of equines. In early tests, the serum presented antibodies up to 150 times more potent than those found in patients infected with Sars-CoV-2. If late-stage trials go ahead as planned, the serum could reach patients by mid-2021.

“We won’t have more than 60 percent of the population vaccinated before next year, even by the most optimistic forecasts,” says Jerson Silva, one of the project’s researchers. “Ideally, we could use the serum to treat those who have been infected.”

A similar study is underway in the São Paulo-based Butantan Biological Institute, which is also involved in the local production of the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine. After five months of research, scientists have administered the serum on hamsters to induce an immune response.

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