(QCOSTARICA) Carlos Araya, the rector of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), reported that scientists at the Clodomiro Picado Institute managed to produce a treatment that neutralizes the coronavirus. This means that, when applied, it prevents people with COVID-19 from getting worse.
Tico scientists have been working on the serum for months. Finally, professionals from George Mason University in Virginia, United States, confirmed that the formulations “are capable of inhibiting the infectivity of the SARS-Cov2, which produces the coronavirus,” said Araya.
“George Mason University tests confirmed that the(Costa Rican) scientists’ strategy allows for antibodies that neutralize the virus, which prevents the disease from progressing in patients, preventing them from worsening,” said the UCR president at the press conference.
Now that the drug passed the tests in the United States, the clinical study will begin, applied to a group of people to test its effectiveness. If it passes this test, it would be ready for use at all medical centers in the country.
Román Macaya, president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), explained that this is the first time in the history of the CCSS that a clinical study of a product produced in Costa Rica will be carried out.
“It is going to help us lower the viral load so that they can leave (the hospital) faster,” said Macaya, at the press conference on Tuesday, July 28.
This treatment is not a substitute for a vaccine, which fully protects those who have not been infected. On the contrary, it is a drug that lowers the effectiveness of the virus in the body of those who have already been infected.
This drug was achieved by scientists of the Clodomiro Picado Institute by injected coronavirus proteins into the body of a group of horses. Equines, as a natural response, produced antibodies against these proteins.
Scientists then extracted the blood from the horses that already contained the defenses against Sars-Cov2, creating the drug that, in a nutshell, comes to fight the virus in infected people.
Important to note the horses were not injured in the process.
“We are going from the first patient diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 6 to the first patient treated by a therapy done entirely in Costa Rica in just five months. This is record time.
“Because this virus is so contagious and so deadly, we needed a laboratory that had the necessary biosafety levels. The George Mason University did the preclinical part, evaluated the potency of the antibodies to neutralize the virus,” said Macaya.