Serum Institute of India, IAVI and Merck join forces to develop COVID-19 antibodies

News: Serum Institute of India(SII) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have announced an agreement with pharmaceutical major Merck to develop SARS-CoV-2 neutralising monoclonal antibodies(mAbs).


  • What are Monoclonal Antibodies? They are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system.They are made by cloning a unique white blood cell.
  • Features:
    • Monoclonal antibodies can have monovalent affinity, binding only to the same epitope (the part of an antigen that is recognized by the antibody).
    • They are designed to perform many roles like they can be used to carry drugs, toxins or radioactive substances directly to the cancer cells.

Additional Facts:

  • Antibody: It is a protein produced by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances called antigens.
  • Antigen: It is a toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body especially the production of antibodies.
  • Epitope: It is a portion of a foreign protein or antigen that is capable of stimulating an immune response.