Memo Therapeutics wants to develop a treatment for coronavirus. For this reason, the start-up is seeking out patients who have already been infected and recovered. Their blood contains antibodies to the virus. Some of these could contribute to developing a treatment according to the press release from the company.
Memo Therapeutics has developed a technology that can completely copy human B cells. B cells form plasma cells, which in turn express antibodies. The start-up is not only able to copy B cells but is also able to stabilize up to 80 percent of them. According to a report by the Tages-Anzeiger, rival companies can only reach a maximum of 3 percent.
Memo Therapeutics wants to use this procedure for coronavirus as well. For this, it helps the start-up if as many recovered patients as possible give blood. This makes it more likely that suitable B cells will be identified.
Karsten Fischer, CEO of Memo Therapeutics, states: “The first candidates have already come and let us draw some blood.” He estimates that his team will find a therapeutic candidate against the new coronavirus in five months.
Memo Therapeutics is a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). The start-up has already been able to use its technology to develop antibodies against BK virus, a risk for patients after a kidney transplant.