Author Topic: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?  (Read 146404 times)

Offline Euclid

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1620 on: August 20, 2021, 11:02:16 AM »
Correct thread?

Offline Moshe123

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1621 on: August 20, 2021, 11:34:00 AM »
Correct thread?

Intentional. Good news that people are revolting. It's not about some frum tenoyim anymore.

Offline biobook

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1622 on: August 20, 2021, 11:59:15 AM »
Is it effective against the virus, or against the infection brought about by the disease? If the latter, does the strain matter? @biobook
Neither.  It's effective against the entry of the virus into cells in cell culture, so it makes a good candidate to consider.  Next steps would be to see if it cures disease in animal models, then in human clinical trials. 

The authors make it clear that vaccination would be preferable, but suggest that this might be a possible treatment for those unable to vaccinate (infants, immunocompromised) and would be cheap, so accessible to countries unable to afford the vaccine. 

ETA: just looked at the original article.  Animal studied not needed, because it's an approved drug for other purposes, and in fact clinical trials are being conducted now, at University of Pennsylvania and Hebrew U.  These pharmacologists are basically adding info about the possible mechanism by which the drug affects the ACE2 receptor.

After noting possible undesirable side effects, they conclude with

"While further studies to clarify the precise mechanism of the antiviral activity of fenofibrate are ongoing, our data support the clinical evaluation of fenofibrate in the community infection setting and also in patients requiring hospitalization. One possibility is that fenofibrate is tested in newly diagnosed symptomatic patients, who do not require hospitalization, in whom reduction in viral infection levels by fenofibrate would reduce disease severity and the spread of infection to other individuals." 

So that sounds like they see it as an alternative to the more expensive monoclonal antibodies.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 12:08:19 PM by biobook »

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1623 on: August 20, 2021, 02:15:31 PM »
Neither.  It's effective against the entry of the virus into cells in cell culture, so it makes a good candidate to consider.  Next steps would be to see if it cures disease in animal models, then in human clinical trials. 

The authors make it clear that vaccination would be preferable, but suggest that this might be a possible treatment for those unable to vaccinate (infants, immunocompromised) and would be cheap, so accessible to countries unable to afford the vaccine. 

ETA: just looked at the original article.  Animal studied not needed, because it's an approved drug for other purposes, and in fact clinical trials are being conducted now, at University of Pennsylvania and Hebrew U.  These pharmacologists are basically adding info about the possible mechanism by which the drug affects the ACE2 receptor.

After noting possible undesirable side effects, they conclude with

"While further studies to clarify the precise mechanism of the antiviral activity of fenofibrate are ongoing, our data support the clinical evaluation of fenofibrate in the community infection setting and also in patients requiring hospitalization. One possibility is that fenofibrate is tested in newly diagnosed symptomatic patients, who do not require hospitalization, in whom reduction in viral infection levels by fenofibrate would reduce disease severity and the spread of infection to other individuals." 

So that sounds like they see it as an alternative to the more expensive monoclonal antibodies.

In Israel they actually gave this to people who were hospitalized. I watched a recent interview with a mother and daughter, who both had it and recovered quickly after agreeing to participate in the study, taking fenobirate.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 04:23:55 PM by ExGingi »
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Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1624 on: August 22, 2021, 01:04:50 PM »
״וזה כלל גדול: שישנא אדם כל דבר שקר. וכל מה שיוסיף שנאה לדרכי השקר יוסיף אהבה לתורה.״ - אורחות צדיקים

Offline Ergel

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1625 on: August 22, 2021, 01:06:58 PM »
The CDC really should be shut down
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1626 on: August 22, 2021, 01:13:20 PM »
Would it be good news that the vaccinated are dying at a lower rate than the unvaccinated?
You're so far up Trump's a** you can see Giuliani's feet.  HT Baruch

Offline AsherO

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1627 on: August 22, 2021, 01:31:18 PM »

How do they measure this?

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1628 on: August 23, 2021, 09:45:55 PM »
FDA approval is great news. They now will be able to advertise which hopefully will get some off the fence.
You're so far up Trump's a** you can see Giuliani's feet.  HT Baruch

Offline Moshe123

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1629 on: August 24, 2021, 11:08:19 AM »

Offline AsherO

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1630 on: August 26, 2021, 12:43:35 AM »

Once theyre full they cant admit as many patients

/s

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1631 on: August 26, 2021, 07:03:16 PM »
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline AsherO

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1632 on: August 26, 2021, 07:35:09 PM »
https://scitechdaily.com/inescapable-covid-19-antibody-discovery-neutralizes-all-known-sars-cov-2-strains/

@biobook can you please give us the Plain English executive summary on this?

If it can be given prophylactically, can they develop a vaccine that would get the body to produce the same antibody?

/Spoken like the true science novice that I am

Offline biobook

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1633 on: August 27, 2021, 12:20:23 AM »
https://scitechdaily.com/inescapable-covid-19-antibody-discovery-neutralizes-all-known-sars-cov-2-strains/

@biobook can you please give us the Plain English executive summary on this?
The surface of SARS-CoV-2 has a spike protein, with a tip called RBD (receptor binding domain) which binds to the ACE2 receptor on a cell of our lungs and thereby allows the virus to enter our cells. 

This protein is made of about 1200 amino acids, strung together in a long chain, which then folds up to produce the spike-shaped molecule.  During viral replication, mutations can occur, such that one or more of those amino acids are modified.  If enough mutations pile up such that the virus now acts a little differently it may be considered a new variant of the original virus. 

Many of those variants, like Delta, are still recognized well enough by the antibodies we make, but some are so different in one area, that our antibodies cant recognize and neutralize them, and these viruses are called escape variants.  Not that theyve escaped from our bodies quite the opposite theyve escaped from the stranglehold that our antibodies had on them, so they are now able to infect our cells and make us sick.
 
The scientists wanted to identify which areas of the spike are least likely to mutate.  Antibodies produced to those constant areas should be effective against any new variants, even though the spike may have mutations elsewhere.  They found 45 different spike proteins from viruses related to SARS, but with slight differences in structure.   
 
Next, they wanted to see how well different antibodies bind to these different spike proteins.  They needed anti-spike antibodies of course, but these molecules can also have slight differences in structure.  One antibody binds to one region of spike, and another binds to another region.  One person may produce one anti-spike antibodies, another person produces slightly different anti-spike antibodies.  The researchers isolated 12 anti-spike antibodies from the blood of people who had recovered from infection with either SARS-CoV2 or the related SARS-CoV in 2003.

When those 12 antibodies were exposed to the 45 spike proteins, all the antibodies bound to some of the spikes, but there was one superstar, an antibody that bound to the RBD on every single spike.

It turns out that when the 1200 amino acid chain folds up, theres one area of the RBD that is hidden inside the structure, and is exposed only at the last moment when the Spike RBD begins to bind to the ACE2 receptor of our cells.  The remarkable antibody they found zips in there and neutralizes the spike, blocking its ability to bind ACE2.  This area of spike is unlikely to mutate, as evidenced by the finding that it exists in the spike proteins of all 45 different viruses that resemble SARS Cov-2.
 
To check whether this binding would be medically relevant, they injected the antibody into hamsters, and found that it protected them from SARS infection.

Till now, companies that develop monoclonal antibodies have searched for antibodies that would bind most strongly to the spike protein.  These authors suggest that they search for antibodies that bind broadly, that is, that bind to a large variety of similar viruses, so that the antibodies would have a good chance of neutralizing any new variant that appears.

Based on an excellent article by Sabrina Richards, https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2021/07/novel-coronavirus-immunity.html

Offline ExGingi

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1634 on: August 27, 2021, 12:53:54 AM »
The surface of SARS-CoV-2 has a spike protein, with a tip called RBD (receptor binding domain) which binds to the ACE2 receptor on a cell of our lungs and thereby allows the virus to enter our cells. 

This protein is made of about 1200 amino acids, strung together in a long chain, which then folds up to produce the spike-shaped molecule.  During viral replication, mutations can occur, such that one or more of those amino acids are modified.  If enough mutations pile up such that the virus now acts a little differently it may be considered a new variant of the original virus. 

Many of those variants, like Delta, are still recognized well enough by the antibodies we make, but some are so different in one area, that our antibodies cant recognize and neutralize them, and these viruses are called escape variants.  Not that theyve escaped from our bodies quite the opposite theyve escaped from the stranglehold that our antibodies had on them, so they are now able to infect our cells and make us sick.
 
The scientists wanted to identify which areas of the spike are least likely to mutate.  Antibodies produced to those constant areas should be effective against any new variants, even though the spike may have mutations elsewhere.  They found 45 different spike proteins from viruses related to SARS, but with slight differences in structure.   
 
Next, they wanted to see how well different antibodies bind to these different spike proteins.  They needed anti-spike antibodies of course, but these molecules can also have slight differences in structure.  One antibody binds to one region of spike, and another binds to another region.  One person may produce one anti-spike antibodies, another person produces slightly different anti-spike antibodies.  The researchers isolated 12 anti-spike antibodies from the blood of people who had recovered from infection with either SARS-CoV2 or the related SARS-CoV in 2003.

When those 12 antibodies were exposed to the 45 spike proteins, all the antibodies bound to some of the spikes, but there was one superstar, an antibody that bound to the RBD on every single spike.

It turns out that when the 1200 amino acid chain folds up, theres one area of the RBD that is hidden inside the structure, and is exposed only at the last moment when the Spike RBD begins to bind to the ACE2 receptor of our cells.  The remarkable antibody they found zips in there and neutralizes the spike, blocking its ability to bind ACE2.  This area of spike is unlikely to mutate, as evidenced by the finding that it exists in the spike proteins of all 45 different viruses that resemble SARS Cov-2.
 
To check whether this binding would be medically relevant, they injected the antibody into hamsters, and found that it protected them from SARS infection.

Till now, companies that develop monoclonal antibodies have searched for antibodies that would bind most strongly to the spike protein.  These authors suggest that they search for antibodies that bind broadly, that is, that bind to a large variety of similar viruses, so that the antibodies would have a good chance of neutralizing any new variant that appears.

Based on an excellent article by Sabrina Richards, https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2021/07/novel-coronavirus-immunity.html

TYVM. I think we can all agree that you fall into the same category as @TimT on DDF, that is being more reliable than a Swiss watch!

To the topic, this almost sounds too good to be true. What are the downsides/risks of focusing on this "superstar" antibody?
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
-- Dan

Offline AsherO

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1635 on: August 27, 2021, 07:15:59 AM »
To the topic, this almost sounds too good to be true. What are the downsides/risks of focusing on this "superstar" antibody?

Antibodies are after-the-fact treatment (at least thats how theyve been used thus far), they dont prevent infection or spread.

Monoclonal antibodies are still very expensive to manufacture at this time, so this doesnt necessarily scale well/cost-effectively, especially for less developed nations.

Offline Yehuda57

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1636 on: August 27, 2021, 07:50:56 AM »


Your ability to dumb things down enough that I feel like a genius after reading it is amazing
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Offline Dan

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1637 on: August 27, 2021, 08:12:10 AM »
Why can't they make vaccines that also do that?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Yehuda57

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1638 on: August 27, 2021, 09:52:51 AM »
Why can't they make vaccines that also do that?

Why don't they make the vaccines out of the black box
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Offline avromie7

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Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
« Reply #1639 on: August 27, 2021, 09:56:08 AM »
Why can't they make vaccines that also do that?
The vaccine triggers the body to create antibodies, they body chooses which type of antibodies it makes. Maybe they can find a way that consistently triggers these antibodies, but FWIU there is no sure way to trigger these specific antibodies.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.