A team of scientists in Redcar has come up with a treatment to stop covid-19 in its tracks – potentially saving millions of lives.
Tucked away in a corner of the Wilton chemicals complex, Absolute Antibodies has been working on a solution using antibodies from patients who are already recovering from the virus.
It’s not a vaccine – but the company’s Dr Catherine Bladen says it could be crucial in preventing coronavirus from gaining a hold in people who are already infected.
And the antibodies developed by their lab will also be used in testing kits to determine whether someone has coronavirus – or has had it has now and become immune.
One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies is now testing the Redcar lab’s findings on animals and humans.
If successful, it could go global.
And while others are working on similar treatments around the world, Dr Bladen believes Absolute Antibodies is nudging ahead in the fight against the virus.
“We manufacture and engineer antibodies.
In terms of covid-19, our antibodies could be used as a treatment.
“You would essentially not get any worse.
“A vaccine is long-term, to stop us getting covid-19 in the first place.
“This would hopefully lessen the number of deaths we are seeing.”
And the work Absolute Antibodies is doing is “pretty big for Redcar”, she added.
“We’re working with global scale pharmaceutical firms,” she continued.
“Our hope is that we can play a small part in treating and hopefully curing millions of people.
“Our technology will have a part to play in that.”
Viruses work by replicating themselves within human hosts, she added.
“We think [our antibodies] will be effective because we’ve sequenced them from patients that have recovered.
“It has worked in other systems. It should work for covid-19.”
The major pharmaceutical company that Absolute Antibodies is working with can’t be identifed.
“They came to us and have us as their partners,”
“Their careers are as pandemic scientists so they moved on this very quickly.
“We are able to make lots of antibodies or variations of the same antibody and get them out to testing, that’s what sets us apart. ”
“We are involved in gaining a better understanding of all kinds of viruses so we prevent them in the future,” Catherine added.
Aside from valuable work on covid-19 Absolute Antibodies, which employs around 27 people on Teesside, has been handed a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for its rapid overseas sales growth over the last year.
And 14 of the 15 pharmaceutical companies in the world are now its customers.
Credit: Teesside Live
By Absolute Antibody Research & Manufacturing