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Coronavirus update: Companies test antibody drugs to treat, prevent COVID-19. Here's the latest.
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Coronavirus update: Companies test antibody drugs to treat, prevent COVID-19. Here's the latest.

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With a coronavirus vaccine still months off, companies are rushing to test what may be the next best thing: drugs that deliver antibodies to fight the virus right away, without having to train the immune system to make them.

Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help it be eliminated. Vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking there’s an infection so it makes antibodies and remembers how to do that if the real bug turns up.

But it can take a month or two after vaccination or infection for the most effective antibodies to form. The experimental drugs shortcut that process by giving concentrated versions of specific ones that worked best against the coronavirus in lab and animal tests.

Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • Hopes that talks on a huge COVID-19 relief deal would generate an agreement soon are fizzling, with both the Trump administration negotiating team and top congressional Democrats adopting hard lines and testy attitudes.
  • Across the U.S., the coronavirus outbreak is disrupting Latinos’ long and difficult climb up the political ladder. The disease has disproportionately sickened Latinos, destabilized communities and impeded voter registration ahead of the November presidential election.
  • The announcement Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country was the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine did not provoke the awe and wonder of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first satellite into orbit in 1957. Instead it was met by doubts about the science and safety.
  • As Britain navigates its way through the coronavirus pandemic, the government insists that science is guiding its decisions. But a group of independent experts says it sees little in Britain's response that is evidence-based, especially after an upturn in new cases forced a delay in lifting more lockdown restrictions.
  • Health authorities in New Zealand were scrambling Wednesday to trace the source of a new outbreak of the coronavirus as the nation's largest city went back into lockdown.
  • The loudest Philadelphia Phillies fans this season are found outside the ballpark, with vuvuzelas, air horns and homemade banners that stir up the staid atmosphere inside Citizens Bank Park.
  • A crumbling college football season took a massive hit Tuesday when the Big Ten and Pac-12, two historic and powerful conferences, succumbed to the pandemic and canceled their fall football seasons.
  • For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.

Virus by the numbers

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