Now, this dang janky drug can do more than just make us sick

Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson, won approval for COVID-19 (collaborative immunity virus-like particle) in November. According to the new injection, when the drug is given as a shot, it can change the way the body produces antibodies. It can act as a booster for other types of vaccines given by mouth and the immune system of people with waning immunity.

The idea is that this approach, called immunoglobulin therapy, could someday be used to enhance existing vaccines against flu and other illnesses. Doctors have already been testing whether immunoglobulin therapy can raise immunity in people with a genetic form of leukaemia, and these results are very promising.

About half the cases of leukaemia in children occur in families that carried a mutation in a gene called Dacogen, which is a drug that helps leukaemia patients fight infection. Johnson & Johnson is now testing how immunoglobulin therapy can help people with the condition, which happens in 1 in 28,000 children, in Europe and Israel. Preliminary results released this week showed that some patients in the trials did experience a big boost in their immune systems after receiving immunoglobulin therapy.

Johnson & Johnson said it would apply for registration of the treatment in Australia later this year, and it plans to begin a U.S. clinical trial this summer. It’s not clear how much the benefit could outweigh any side effects.

Read the full story at the New York Times.


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