DMV-based non-profit looking to stockpile antibodies for 100 pathogens, prevent next pandemic

Maryland

Coronavirus Resources from the CDC

Latest Announcements
About Coronavirus
Human Coronavirus Types
References and Links
Latest Announcements
About Coronavirus
Human Coronavirus Types
References and Links

MARYLAND (WDVM) — It’s been almost two years since the discovery of the first COVID-19 case in the United States. And with nearly 800,000 deaths caused by the virus in the U.S. alone, a group in the DMV area is working to ensure this pandemic is just a once-in-a-lifetime event and not the first of many.

The Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center aims to change the way the country interacts with infectious diseases. The Center’s first initiative — dubbed AHEAD100 — seeks to both develop and store antibodies from the world’s top 100 pathogens, so researchers can stay a step ahead of the next big outbreak.

Monoclonal antibodies have already played a role in reducing the severity of the effects of COVID-19 infections.

“If you’ve had the infection or had [a] vaccination, you’re likely to be protected to some extent, although we just don’t know how well,” said Adam Finn, a professor with the University of Bristol. “If you’ve got no antibodies at all because you’ve not been immunized and you’ve not had the infection, then you are in a very dangerous place.”

As the COVID Omicron variant begins to crop up across the world, we will be able to see how well these pre-prepared antibodies can ward off future pandemics.

“The most immediate thing that can be done and that will be being done right now is to take sera — that is blood samples from people who have had infection and who had vaccination with the different vaccines — and are known to have high titers of antibodies that neutralize the previous variants,” said Bristol. “And now put those antibodies in the test tube with this new omicron variant.”

While the AHEAD100 initiative will not be able to prevent outbreaks entirely, the Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center says the antibody stockpile will decrease the amount of time a virus remains an issue.

The Center was established by the non-profit ConnectedDMV in August and is currently seeking funding for the AHEAD100 initiative.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News Headlines

Events

Don't Miss

More Local News

Trending Stories