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The treatment lots are expected to be delivered to Social Security in a couple of weeks.  / University of Costa Rica courtesy photo

Published  Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Costa Rican scientists achieving
production of treatment against

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Clodomiro Picado Research Institute at the University of Costa Rica announced on Tuesday that the first two lots of treatment against covid-19 have already been successfully packaged and will be applied to most gravely ill patients with covid-19.

According to the institute, the treatment based on immunoglobulins extracted from the plasma process produced in horses resulted in the first batch of 1,000 vial units. Each unit contains antibodies against two different combinations of SARS-CoV-2 proteins.

"After several months of investigation, we have finally managed to package the equine immunoglobulin formulation," said Guillermo León-Montero, coordinator of the institute's Industrial Division. "The process was developed as it was scheduled.”

Costa Rican scientists begin the quality control phase of the treatment. "The product is undergoing a series of rigorous analysis including sterility testing," the institute said in its statement.

Quality control is to ensure that the serum is safe for patients before sending it to Social Security. These tests are being carried out in the Pharmaceutical Analysis and Advisory Laboratory of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University.

According to the institute, for more than 15 years, the laboratory has investigated and reported to the Ministry of Health about medications in the country that meet all the criteria of quality, safety and efficacy.

"This quality test seeks to demonstrate the safety of the product in terms of verifying the absence of aerobic bacteria, fungi and yeasts. It is very important because, if a product with some contamination is applied to the patient, it can cause sepsis and danger," said Jeimy Blanco-Barrantes, Ph.D.,  coordinator of the Laboratory.

Costa Rican scientists sent samples to George Mason University, in the United States to obtain an alternative result of the effectiveness of the treatment against covid-19 in cells.

The next stage is the delivery of the treatment to Social Security, where the clinical results will be studied. The final study of the treatment applied to patients will determine if the formulations made are effective.

“The formulations have high concentrations of antibodies to viral proteins," León-Montero said. "In fact, it (the treatment) has significantly higher concentrations than the plasma obtained from recovered patients. However, only the clinical study will tell if the formulations are effective.”

The treatment lots are expected to be delivered to Social Security in a couple of weeks.

Scientists are racing against the time to find a cure for covid-19 while Costa Rican authorities report an increase in newly infected cases as well as deaths due to the virus.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the ministry provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

277 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 8,549 active cases. The ages of patients infected range from a three-month-old baby to a 99-year-old person.

3,411 foreign-born people have been infected of the 11,811 cases since March, approximately 28% of the total cases.

• 272 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 223 patients are in recovery rooms and 49 are in Intensive Care Units, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 3,194 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 27% recovery rate.

• 48,514 people have been ruled out.

• 71,150 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

68 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March. Which is almost a 0.6% death rate. Of these, one person whose nationality is not yet identified, 20 foreign-born people, and 47 Costa Ricans. Of the total of deaths, 26 were women and 42 men.

Readers can reach the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map.

As of Tuesday night, the pandemic has killed 615,386 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Could this covid-19 antibodies treatment be the cure to the entire population and prevent the spreading of the virus?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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