Trump’s Antibody Treatment Originally Tested On Fetal Cells

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Trump’s Antibody Treatment Originally Tested On Fetal Cells

Postby toucana on October 8th, 2020, 5:35 am 

The emergency antibody that Trump received last week was developed with the use of a cell line originally derived from abortion tissue, according to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed the experimental drug.

The Trump administration has taken an increasingly firm line against medical research using fetal tissue from abortions. For example, when it moved in 2019 to curtail the ability of the National Institutes of Health to fund such research, supporters hailed a “major pro-life victory” and thanked Trump personally for taking decisive action against what they called the “outrageous and disgusting” practice of “experimentation using baby body parts.”

But when the president faced a deadly encounter with covid-19, his administration raised no objections over the fact that the new drugs also relied on fetal cells, and anti-abortion campaigners were silent too. Most likely, their hypocrisy was unwitting. Many types of medical and vaccine research employ supplies of cells originally acquired from abortion tissue. It would have taken an expert to realize that was the case with Trump’s treatment.

Last Friday, as Trump developed worrisome symptoms of covid-19, the president received an emergency cocktail of anti-coronavirus antibodies made by Regeneron. These molecules are manufactured in cells from a hamster’s ovary, so-called “CHO” cells, according to the company—not in human cells.

But cells originally derived from a fetus were used in another way. According to Regeneron, laboratory tests used to assess the potency of its antibodies employed a standardized supply of cells called HEK 293T, whose origin was kidney tissue from an abortion in the Netherlands in the 1970s.

Since then, the 293T cells have been “immortalized,” meaning they keep dividing in the lab, somewhat like a cancer, and have undergone other genetic changes and additions.

According to Regeneron, it and many other labs employ 293T cells to manufacture virus “pseudoparticles,” which are virus-like structures that contain the “spike” protein of the deadly coronavirus. It needs those to test how well different antibodies will neutralize the virus.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/10/07/1009664/trumps-antibody-treatment-was-tested-using-cells-from-an-abortion/

In his latest video, president Trump now says that he thinks that his COVID-19 infection was a “gift from God”, and that he wants to make the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals treatment available free of charge to all Americans - even though it's an experimental treatment that has no FDA approval for wider public use.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-54455040
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