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A hemodialysis unit at Moscow's Clinical Hospital No 52 treating COVID-19 patients, patients with suspected coronavirus and patients with viral community-acquired pneumonia. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

Staff of the immunogenetics laboratory of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk were the first in Russia to obtain the antibodies which neutralize the coronavirus. The further development of this work will serve as a basis for creation of the specific COVID-19 therapeutic and prevention tools, executive secretary of the anti-coronavirus working group at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Olga Dorokhova told TASS on Wednesday.

“The Novosibirsk research center was the first in Russia to obtain the functioning antibodies to COVID-19. To this end, blood samples of donors who have had COVID-19 were used as well as a unique technology to sort single B-lymphocytes (blood cells responsible for the immunity formation – TASS). The antibodies obtained are capable of blocking the interaction of the virus and the АСЕ2 cellular receptor (a protein built into cellular membrane) and thus prevent its infiltration of the target cells,” she explained.

According to the executive secretary, the further development of the research will allow the scientists to create COVID-19-specific tools of therapy and prevention. Additionally, the results obtained will serve as a material to study the particulars of the protective immunity to the coronavirus infection and will be useful when adjusting the vaccines.

Immunogenetics lab of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences creates molecular diagnostic tools and therapy tools for human diseases. The institute, created in 2011, is one of the newest ones at the Siberian Branch. It conducts research in the spheres of immunogenetics and cell technologies. Additionally, the institute conducts studies of the genome of the indigenous people of Siberia.

Source: TASS, July 15, 2020