British Scientists have been testing a new antibody treatment, which might have the potential to provide instant immunity to people who have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Experts have said that the drug will offer instant and long-term immunity to people when it is too late to vaccinate them. The drug can be given as an emergency treatment to hospital inpatient, care home residents, and university students as well to stop further spread of the virus. Experts have said that this treatment can be given to those people as well who have been living with someone who has contracted the virus or have been exposed to COVID19 to prevent them from being infected with the virus, even if they have not been vaccinated with COVID19 vaccine. British scientists from the University College London Hospitals NHS (UCLH) have tried this treatment on 10 people as part of a new trial called Storm Chaser. This trial aims to test this drug in 1125 people around the world. Participants of the trial have received two doses of the drug. As per the experts, the treatment is expected to offer immunity against COVID19 within six months to a year.
This development has come after the UK has recorded 32757 COVID19 cases on Christmas day. However, authorities have urged people to cancel their holiday plans in the wake of surging cases across the country. Although full figures have not been released yet, however experts say that there has been a nearly 14 percent spike in cases within a week. Scientists from UCLH have initiated a second trial called Provent to test the use of antibodies for people who might not benefit from the vaccine. People with a weaker immune system and increased risk of COVID19 due to age and certain underlying conditions might not get any relief from the vaccine, said the experts. The new antibody treatment has been tested on 10 people, such as medical staff, and university students, as the study has entered its phase three trials. The key group of the trial consists of healthcare staff and university students, who put up in shared accommodations and close to patients, who have recently been exposed to someone with COVID19. The trial includes military people and industry employees as well such as factory workers.
Scientists have been testing an antibody named AZD7442, which has been developed by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. The company has made a COVID19 vaccine as well in association with Oxford University, which is yet to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Experts have said that elderly people and long-term care residents along with those who are dealing with cancer and HIV will also be a part of the trial Provent. NHS England National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis has said that these two trials are a crucial addition to therapeutic approaches to fight the COVID19 pandemic. He has said that these antibody treatments might help certain patient groups, who might not be benefitted from the vaccine. The lead author of the Storm Chase trial, Dr. Catherine Houlihan has said that giving this treatment through the injection can offer instant immunity against the rapid spread of the virus.