At the present time, there are no blockbuster drugs that dramatically improve the outcome of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. While remdesivir and steroids do improve time to recovery and mortality, neither reverse the course of disease in most patients, especially if the patient has waited too long to go to the hospital. One promising area of research is antibody treatments, where antibodies are created that attack the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and label it for destruction. The problem with these treatments is that they are expensive, heat-labile, and do not scale well.
Recently, Göttingen researchers have developed mini-antibodies, derived from alpacas, that solve all of these drawbacks. They bind extremely tightly to the spike protein, are cheaper to produce, can be made in large quantities, and are stable up to 95°C (that is close to the temperature of boiling water). Their heat stability is especially useful as it makes it much easier to distribute and administer the antibodies. Their new drug is about to enter clinical trials and here is hoping that it turns out to be a powerful weapon against SARS-CoV-2.