ICMR, Biological E to develop antisera for Covid treatment

By   |  Published: 1st Oct 2020  11:27 pm

Hyderabad: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and city-based Biological E Limited have collaborated to develop highly purified antisera, which is raised from animals for the purpose of prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19.

Back in June, the ICMR had invited drug makers from across the country for development of ‘equine antiserum’ against the novel coronavirus. The antiserum is a blood-based serum, which is usually extracted from either animals or humans and contains antibodies against the pathogen i.e. the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In this case, the blood is obtained from horses that have recovered from the SARS-CoV-2 and found to have antibodies in their system. Antibodies from horses are quite commonly used in management and treatment for various kinds of viral and bacterial infections.

“Such measures have previously been used in medical science to control many viral and bacterial infections such as Rabies, Hepatitis B, Vaccinia virus, Tetanus, Botulism and Diphtheria,” ICMR said.

According to reports, the equine antiserum was isolated by ICMR’s National Institute of Virology, Pune. The ICMR had provided licenses to scale-up the production of antiserum to various pharma manufacturers across the country.

Although plasma collected from patients who have recovered from Covid could serve similar purpose, the profile of antibodies, their efficacy and concentration keep varying from one patient to another and therefore makes it an unreliable clinical tool for patient management, ICMR said.

The research organisation said that ‘Standardisation achievable through equine sera based treatment modality stands out as yet another remarkable public health initiative supported by ICMR in the time of Covid-19’.


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