This cow’s antibodies could be the newest weapon against COVID-19 : Claims Hopkins University Center

  •  Foreign scientists realised that due to immunity in the body of a cow, and not any other animal, can cure coronavirus. When will the Indians realise this ?
  • When millions of cows are being slaughtered every day in India, will any cows be left for preparing medicines ?

New Delhi – A biotech company SAb Biotherapeutics has coaxed genetically modified cows to pump out human antibodies that subdue SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the deadly disease, and it plans to start clinical trials of them this summer. “This is promising”, says Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. “We want to have as many countermeasures as we can”, he said.


To manufacture antibodies for treating or preventing diseases, companies typically turn to sources such as cultured cells or tobacco plants. However, almost 20 years ago, researchers began to develop the approach now pursued by SAb Biotherapeutics of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to produce antibodies on the hoof.

The company genetically alters dairy cows so that certain immune cells carry the DNA that allows people to make antibodies. That upgrade enables the animals to manufacture large quantities of human antibodies against a pathogen protein injected into them, such as the “spike” surface protein of the new coronavirus.

Click on the pictures below to read the research article of ‘SAb Biotherapeutics’

  Cows make good antibody factories, and not just because they have more blood than smaller animals engineered to synthesize human versions of the proteins. Their blood can also contain twice as many antibodies per millilitre as human blood, says Eddie Sullivan, SAb Biotherapeutics’s president and CEO.

Most companies trying to produce antibodies to combat coronavirus have pinned their hopes on mass-producing identical copies of a single version, a so-called monoclonal antibody that homes in on and attaches tightly to a particular section of a virus. Instead of making just one antibody variety, the cows fashion polyclonal antibodies, a range of the molecules that recognize several parts of the virus. This diversity may make the cow’s proteins more powerful than monoclonal antibodies, he says, and they may remain effective even if a virus mutates.