Antibody drugs currently undergoing testing could be a panacea for the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world once they get regulatory approval, according to the founder of Microsoft Corporation MSFT Bill Gates.
What Happened: The drugs, known as monoclonal antibodies, have shown promising results in patients in the early stages of the viral disease, which Gates termed “pretty exciting” at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit on Tuesday.
“The reduction in death rate there could be pretty high, and those will be out in volume by the end of the year, at least in the rich countries,” Gates said, as reported by the Journal.
Gates is also hopeful of the vaccines under development, which he said could help return life to “pretty close to normal” by late next year in developed countries.
The billionaire philanthropist urged business and political leaders to come out in favor of vaccines and speak to their safety and value.
“The CDC that normally speaks out on these things hasn’t yet had that much visibility,” Gates said on the role of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why It Matters: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN CEO Dr. Leonard Schleifer said Monday he was “proud” to have developed the antibody treatment administered to President Donald Trump, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 late last week.
Last month, Eli Lilly And Co’s LLY antibody treatment was found to be well-tolerated with no serious adverse events in a late-stage human study.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the development of COVID-19 vaccines and has supported the efforts of companies like Novavax Inc NVAX and Pfizer Inc PFE.
COVID-19 vaccines of AstraZeneca plc AZN, Moderna Inc MRNA, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson JNJ, and Pfizer are in late-stage human tests.
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