Costa Rica Seeks to Develop Medicine to Treat COVID-19

clodomiro picado institute in costa rica seeks to develop medicine to treat covid-19

Costa Rica Seeks to Develop Medicine to Treat COVID-19


Costa Rica looks to develop a medicine to treat Covid-19, the medication would utilize antibodies generated from those who have recuperated from the illness, authorities announced.

Costa Rican authorities announced last Wednesday that they will work on developing a medication for the treatment of coronavirus COVID-19, utilizing the antibodies from patients who have recuperated.

The development of the medication is led by the country’s national health service la Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social and the Clodomiro Picado Institute at the University of Costa Rica which is an internationally renowned entity for it’s production and export of antivenoms for snake bites to diverse parts of the world.

If a person recuperates from COVID-19, that person’s body generates an immunity which can then be extracted from the blood plasma and be used to save the lives of people with severe symptoms as a result of the virus SARS-COV-2.

That immunity is thanks to the antibodies that neutralize the virus the University explained in a statement.

The initiative was proposed by the national health service (la Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social – CCSS) which administrates all the public hospitals in the country.

The Clodomiro Picado Institute will employ its technical ability and the experience of its team of scientists to carry out the processing required for the purification and formulation of the antibodies.

The outlined project entails inter-institutional collaboration. The national health service (CCSS) will collect the plasma from donors, while the Institute for Health and Nutrition Research and Education (el Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud – Inciensa) and the Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank at the University of Costa Rica (el Laboratorio Clínico y el Banco de Sangre de la Universidad de Costa Rica) will carryout the analysis necessary to demonstrate that the plasma is free of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens.

Afterwards, the Clodomiro Picado Institute would oversee manufacturing a preparation of purified antibodies form the plasma which would be then be applied in medical centers.

“There’s still a lot of work to do. The possibility that this project can be carried out requires permits from the Ministry of Health, as this isn’t a procedure that the Institute normally does. Beyond these requirements, the project also depends on people who have recovered from the illness being willing to donate plasma”, declared Albert Alape Girón, the director of the Clodomiro Picado Institute.

The institute is organizing the documentation necessary to register the product with the Ministry of Health and to obtain authorization for its production.

The public universities are also working on the production of low cost 3D printed facemasks as well as prototypes of ventilators that can be used for severely ill patients.

Up to last Wednesday, Costa Rican Authorities counted 375 people infected with Coronavirus, of which two have passed away and four have recuperated since the first case was diagnosed in the country on the 6th of March.

Currently there are 15 people hospitalized, 9 of whom are in intensive care.

Costa Rica is maintaining its borders closed to foreigners, has suspended events, closed bars, nightclubs, national parks, and beaches as preventative measures.

The government has not established a mandatory quarantine, except for people returning from abroad, but it has asked that the population stay home and has established a restricted schedule for vehicular traffic.

See also: How Costa Rica Beat the New York Coronavirus Response

Article translated from: published on April 2nd, 2020.

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