The two equine antibody formulations prepared at the Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica (ICP-UCR), from plasma of horses hyperimmunized with viral proteins, are capable of inhibiting the infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that It produces COVID-19 disease.
This was revealed by the results of tests carried out at George Mason University in the United States, which confirmed that the strategy of Costa Rican scientists allows antibodies to be obtained that neutralize the infectivity of the virus. These antibodies could prevent the disease from progressing in patients.
“The results clearly demonstrate that the horses produced a large number of antibodies that block the entry of the virus into human cells, indicating that the drug can be very efficient and that the amount that will be required to treat patients would be relatively low ”, indicated Dr. Alberto Alape, ICP-UCR researcher, microbiologist and clinical chemist.
The sample was sent to the United States because it is the virologists at George Mason University who have the laboratories with the biosafety conditions to keep SARS-CoV-2 in culture cells. This model was used to assess whether equine antibody preparations could inhibit the virus’s ability to infect cells.
“It is an enormous achievement for Costa Rica and for its institutionality. A joint and close effort with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), with which the UCR maintains a wide and productive relationship. Born at the same time, these institutions have been pillars for our country and have made it easier for both the health and education fields to be the cornerstones of Costa Rica’s development today. Undoubtedly, both institutions have been key in shaping our social rule of law, so that education and health hand in hand, and without turning them into business, are of universal scope and projection, “said the rector of the UCR.
For Dr. Román Macaya Hayes, executive president of the CCSS, the confirmation by the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (from George Mason University) shows the human and technical capacity of the UCR and the country. Costa Rica, based on its own skills, accumulated knowledge, and installed technology, takes a fundamental step in the fight against COVID-19.
«It is the first time in the history of the Fund that it begins with an interventional clinical investigation of a researched therapy, developed and produced in Costa Rica, in collaboration with the CCSS, the UCR and the George Mason University. This, in the midst of a pandemic, “emphasized Macaya Hayes.