Antibody treatment for coronavirus developed from horses gets DCGI nod for human trials


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed an ‘antisera’ for treatment of coronavirus and has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for clinical trials. The antisera has been developed by injecting the SARS-CoV-2 in animals.



The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed an ‘antisera’ for treatment of coronavirus and has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for clinical trials. The antisera has been developed by injecting the SARS-CoV-2 in animals.


The antisera developed by ICMR and Hyderabad-based biopharmaceutical firm Biological E Ltd is an antibody treatment against Covid-19 that has been developed by injecting inactivated Covid-19 virus in horses.


The therapy works in a similar pattern as the plasma therapy. However, the blood plasma for this will be obtained from horses in this case. The horses that have recovered from the viral infection after they were injected with SARS-CoV-2 and were found to have antibodies against the virus, will be used for the treatment. Antibodies from horses, known as equine antisera, are quite common.


"With Biological E Limited we have developed an horse antisera and we have just got clearance for conducting clinical trials for that," ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said at press briefing on Tuesday.


The 'antisera' is yet to undergo human clinical trials to establish safety and efficacy.


Antisera are blood serum high in antibodies against specific antigens and are injected in humans to help kickstart the immune system to fight specific infections.


"The ICMR and Biological E Limited, Hyderabad, have developed highly purified antisera (raised in animals) for prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19," ICMR had earlier said in a tweet.


"Although, plasma recovered from patients experiencing Covid-19 could serve similar purpose, the profile of antibodies, their efficacy and concentration keep varying from one patient to another and therefore, make it an unreliable clinical tool for patient management," the ICMR had said in a tweet.


"Standardisation achievable through equine sera based treatment modality thus stands out as yet another remarkable public health initiative supported by ICMR in the time of COVID-19," it said.


As part of the study, 10 healthy horses were immunised with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and after 21 days of immunisation, plasma samples were tested.


The results of the plasma samples indicated presence of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies as detected in ELISA with neutralising capacity.


Source - INDIA TODAY

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