Monoclonal antibodies are playing a key therapeutic role in the treatment of some Covid-19 patients, but new research suggests that nanobodies derived from llamas could provide an alternative to monoclonal antibodies through a more effective delivery method—inhalation.

Llama antibodies could soon be playing a role in the global fight against Covid-19, if clinical trials being conducted by a Belgian biomedical start-up live up to their early promise.

Belgium-based ExeVir announced a $50 million Series A to take the 9-month-old startup’s lead antibody compound XVR011 into a global Phase Ib/II clinical study soon, representing the first in-human trials using a unique, llama-derived antibody.

French researchers are using tiny antibody particles extracted from the family of animals that includes camels and llamas to produce a test they say can detect if patients have Covid-19 faster and more accurately than existing methods.

Research indicates that llamas may hold the key to developing an effective therapeutic against Covid-19 as well as the flu, as scientists from the National Institutes of Health isolated promising antibodies from the South American animal.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) synthesized a molecule inspired by llama antibodies called nanobodies that could neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Nanobodies derived from llamas have neutralized the SARS-CoV-2 spike in the lab, effectively neutralizing the virus, according to research from the UK’s Rosalind Franklin Institute.

New research indicates that llamas may hold the key to flu vaccines.