After a long silence while Beijing insisted - more or less successfully - that SARS-CoV-2 had been annihilated in China, Chiese researchers have once again been producing a flurry of research on the virus's origins, while also claiming new breakthroughs in treatment. They even went so far as to propose a new zoonotic link between the omicron variant and mice.
On Wednesday, we saw that trend continue as a team of scientists from Fudan University claimed to have found a new "godsend" antibody that would magically neutralize omicron and all future strains.
The "surprise" discovery was reportedly made while the team was investigating other strains of the virus, according to their research, which was published on Biorxiv.
According to the leader of the team that carried out the research, the scientists crafted a new antibody cocktail synthesized from human cells produced in response to infections with other variants. To their complete and utter surprise, they found that the cocktail produced an antibody that can magically combat omicron.
Professor Huang Jinghe of Fudan University said in an interview with the SCMP that the new cocktail fought omicron using a series of "combo moves" like in a video game. His team has developed eight different antibody cocktails that they claim are "highly potent" in a short period of time.
As for what the Chinese intend to do with this research, that's not clear - yet.
"There are very few antibodies that can neutralize Omicron in the world. I feel like I’ve been hit by God’s grace," Huang said.
Despite being from different natural antibodies, “have collaborative roles in the neutralization process,” Huang and colleagues said in the paper. The team claims that it developed the cocktail for use on another illness which they refused to identify, before deciding that it had worked "pretty well" and so they should "give it a try" on omicron.
The SCMP noted that antibody treatments have been widely used to fight the pandemic and treat millions of Americans using monoclonal antibody medicines produced by Regeneron and Eli Lilly.
And while we applaud the Chinese for this experimental breakthrough, we can't help but wonder if this antibody combo has been in the back of a lab refrigerator somewhere for the last 2 years.
Readers can find their full report below: