Scientists have discovered an antibody which prevents the coronavirus from infecting human cells in “groundbreaking research” which could lead to the development of new treatments.
Building on research into the SARS coronavirus, scientists from Utrect University in the Netherlands, as well as the Erasmus Medical Centre and the company Harbour BioMed (HBM), have identified a potential method of neutralising COVID-19.
They discovered that an antibody which prevents the SARS virus from infecting human cells could also block the novel coronavirus from infecting human cells too, according a peer reviewed study published on Monday in the journal Nature Communications, Sky News reported.
Testing their collection of antibodies on cultured human cells, researchers discovered one which binds to a specific part which is present in both SARS and the virus causing COVID-19.
The discovery could offer an initial step towards developing a fully-human antibody to treat or prevent the disease, which has infected more then 3.5 million people worldwide, and led to more than 247,000 deaths.