- Siena’s single-shot antibody therapy could cut bottlenecks
- Pharma hub development could be part of push for production
Tucked in the Tuscan hills around Siena in Italy, a research lab has come up with an antibody treatment for Covid-19 that its developers say will be 80 times more potent than the one given to former U.S. President Donald Trump in his most critical days in hospital last year.
The therapy is derived from the blood of people who’ve recovered from Covid, and relies on 453 different antibodies. It will also be administered as a single shot rather than a drawn-out infusion, which has been the norm for similar drugs. Clinical trials of about 3,000 doses produced so far started in Italy Thursday, and a roll out for general use could be approved as early as this summer.
“The focus of our work has been on dosage,” said Fabrizio Landi, president of the Toscana Life Sciences Foundation, the promoter of the project. “When Trump received an antibodies drug he had to have an hours-long infusion. We are aiming at getting to a dose 80 times more powerful than the one he got.”