CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - Much of the focus fighting the coronavirus has been preventing the disease from spreading. Behind the scenes, scientists and doctors are working overtime to develop a vaccine and workable treatments for COVID-19.
Cory Gerdts is one of the top guys at Protein BioSolutions. The company, which is based in Washington D.C., manufactures a device called the Protein Maker. It is now becoming instrumental in researching a vaccine for COVID-19.
"A number of companies, big pharmaceutical companies, small biotech companies, new reasearch companies, labs, academic labs, use it to make lots of proteins and of course antibodies are a type of protein," said Gerdts.
The device can filter out 24 different proteins at a time, making it easier for researchers to get their job done. The company sold one of the protein makers to the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center back in December and already it is being put to work on a cure.
"We just installed it in early March. so I think they've done a quick pivot and once we got it installed they said 'Hey we need to be using this toward this potential COVID vaccine."
While the Protein Maker may be common sight in labs across the country, Gerdts tells KIMT News 3 he's thrilled to see it aiding scientists as they work to create a vaccine.
"I was surprised that suddenly this instrument we just placed was being used this way. so that's good. I hope they're able to do something. I know many many labs are working on it, so it's good to be part of it," Gerdts said.
Over at the Mayo Clinic, scientists are looking to use antibody-rich plasma from people who have survived a coronavirus infection, in order to treat those who are infected.