NEW: Everyone is talking about the Regeneron and Lilly monoclonal antibodies. But some scientists are betting on "Prometheus," a ragtag group of scientists who are months behind in the competition — and yet may deliver the most powerful antibody. 1/x…
The Prometheus antibody won’t enter human trials till December, but unlike other mabs which would last weeks, the Prometheus would last up to 6 months. 2/x
It is also one of the only mabs that broadly neutralizes the new coronavirus, SARS and also other bat-origin coronaviruses. Meaning it’s a good weapon in the arsenal for any future coronaviruses that might decide to drop by. 3/x
This, by the way, is not idle speculation. A study published last year recorded about 400 strains of bat-origin coronaviruses in China, some of which had already spilled over into people. 4/x
A dose of reality here: there are dozens of companies and academic groups working on mabs but even together, they are unlikely to provide the 25 m doses needed for high-risk people and those infected in the U.S. alone 5/x
Read on for lots more about why Prometheus may yet deliver the fire we need.

Featuring @chandranlab and other Prometheus scientists, @USPharmacopeia @florian_krammer and others…

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More from @apoorva_nyc

13 Oct
NEW: Reports of reinfection with the coronavirus, like the one in Nevada, evoke a nightmarish future: Repeat bouts of illness, impotent vaccines, unrelenting lockdowns — a pandemic without an end. But that nightmare doesn't reflect reality. Here's why 1/x…
What these cases tell us is that reinfection is possible, and in at least 3 cases so far, have been more severe. But that’s well within the natural variation in immune response and happens with every pathogen. 2/x
Take a look at the numbers: > 38 mil reinfections; fewer than 5 confirmed with peer review. “That’s tiny — it’s like a microliter-sized drop in the bucket” said @angie_rasmussen 3/x
Read 6 tweets
8 Oct
BREAKING: It's not just the monoclonal antibodies the Prez took: Remdesevir, and many coronavirus vaccines also rely on cells derived from fetal tissue -- exactly the kind of research the administration has curtailed 1/x…
And yes, I do know that the policy excludes the fetal tissue derived before June 2019. But it's exactly the kind of research that would not be possible under the ban today. 2/x
Even if the ban applied to these cells, Regeneron, Lilly and Gilead would be exempt because they are not funded by the government. Same would not be true of the vaccine companies which do get federal funds. 3/x
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
SCOOP: The White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Sept. 26 Rose Garden celebration for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, where at least eight people, including the president, may have become infected…
Because no one tested positive within 48 hrs of the event, it's technically not required to be part of contact tracing, is the stance, and also doesn't represent a super-spreader event. 2/x
That, by the way, is the opposite of what public health experts told me. There are at least 8 people directly connected to the event, but several more secondary cases seem to be popping up 3/x
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
NEW: The CDC is acknowledging evidence that the virus can be "airborne" and travel further than 6 feet, especially when "the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.” 1/x…
This is why the presidential debate could be risky to Joe Biden. Even 12 feet may not be enough when you have an infected person, possibly at the height of their infectiousness (jibes with timing), talking loudly and at length for 90 minutes. 2/x
The CDC's definition of close contact --- 6 feet for 15 minutes -- is a minimum that doesn't account for this sort of high-risk scenario. But every public health expert I talked to has said Mr. Biden may have very well have been exposed and should probably quarantine. 3/x
Read 6 tweets
3 Oct
President Trump is getting the Regeneron antibody cocktail and remdesevir--two therapies with a lot of good press around them--and is at an excellent medical center. But his age, weight and sex put him at high risk.…
As @CarlosdelRio7 and @jeremyfaust told me, the president's age and general health means he is exactly the kind of patient docs worry most about. 2/x
@CarlosdelRio7 @jeremyfaust Given that, the docs and the meds are probably as good as he can get. They're both experimental, altho remdesevir is now considered standard of care for most Covid patients and the Regeneron cocktail is probably safe if not yet proven to be effective 3/x
Read 7 tweets
3 Oct
It’s becoming increasingly clear that there was a super spreader event on Saturday. Not in the Rose Garden (although it probably didn’t help) but during the indoor discussions. At some point, they may figure out who the source was. I worry for that person’s safety
We know several people, including some needed for Judge Barrett’s confirmation to SCOTUS, were infected and were at the WH that day.…
And we also know that the test the WH used to screen people and assume they were safe is not reliable for that purpose. It was only authorized for confirming symptomatic cases.…
Read 4 tweets

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