A team of Swedish researchers is on its way to Covid-19. They vaccinated the new coronavirus in an alpaca, a mammal in the llama family, and then harvested its antibodies in an attempt to develop a drug.
While the global pharmaceutical industry has been trying for several months to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, Sweden has chosen the treatment route.
At Karolinska Institute, the country’s most prestigious medical research center, Dr. Gerald McInerney is working on an anti-Covid-19 drug that may take the form of an inhaler.
>> To see: Covid-19: is the Swedish model effective?
The research group found that alpacas produced antibodies to coronavirus on their own. “These antibodies that we have discovered attach a lot to the virus and block the infection. So we are very happy to have found something very effective,” says Dr. McInerney.
These antibodies can be cloned in the laboratory in large quantities from an alpaca blood sample. It remains to succeed in transmitting them to humans and seeing their effectiveness.