In Belarus, the total number of cases of coronavirus has reached 118 thousand. Over the past day, more than 1,300 new cases have been identified. Now the country is working on its own drug for COVID-19. The first experimental batch on the basis of anticoid plasma from donors who have been ill is already ready for production, reports the correspondent of the TV channel "MIR 24" Alexandra Kulakova.
The new Belarusian drug, anticoid immunoglobulin, will be produced in small ampoules - three milliliters. And antibodies - like in 300 milliliters of plasma from a coronavirus patient. They help the immune system to cope with the virus.
“Two effects of immunoglobulin, both in the plasma and in the agent, are direct virus-neutralizing activity, and the second directs immune cells to viruses,” said Fedor Karpenko, director of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Transfusiology and Medical Biotechnologies.
As early as last spring, plasma transfusions from donors who had been ill were started in Belarus. The procedure takes an hour. It can be replaced with a single intramuscular injection, when anticonvulsant immunoglobulin appears. The first pilot batch is being prepared for production. In February-March next year, the drug will undergo clinical trials. “In terms of capacity, we can take quite large quantities, but plasma is a limited reserve, which is also used for therapy, so the planned loading is from 100 liters and more. This is original. We can increase the volumes if we, of course, have plasma,”said Natalya Radionchik, head of the department of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Transfusiology and Medical Biotechnologies. Tests of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine have begun in Belarus since October. 100 volunteers participate in the program. Among them - Vadim Shornikov with his wife. We did everything together, but the reactions to the drug were different.
“After two injections, I had a reaction. Body temperature dropped to 35.9. Redness was on the neck. What's after the first, what's after the second. And fatigue. The wife was also injected, and she had no reaction,”said Vadim Shornikov.
The tests involved people of different ages. Sputnik V was introduced in two stages with a difference of 21 days. The main requirement is that no volunteer should have had a coronavirus before.
“All subjects are in a satisfactory condition. No adverse reactions are observed. When the data is available, the Ministry of Health will draw conclusions. And there will already be intentions and plans to vaccinate a certain contingent of the population of the republic,”said Alexander Tarasenko, Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Republic of Belarus.
One and a half months after the first injection, all one hundred volunteers will have to take an antibody test. Of these, 75 people received the vaccine, the rest received a placebo. It will be possible to speak about the test results in Belarus only in six months.
The reserve of immune plasma in Belarus is about 700 liters. The demand for it is great. Each day, transfusions take about 100 doses. Therefore, donors who have had coronavirus are needed more than ever, doctors say.