Trump’s Antibody Treatment Was Tested Using Cell Line Derived From An Abortion
President Trump praised the coronavirus treatments he has received as “miracles coming down from God.”
But one was developed using a cell line derived from aborted fetal tissue — the result of the type of research Trump has sought to block.
- MIT Technology Review noted that Trump was treated with a cocktail of anti-coronavirus antibodies developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
These molecules are manufactured in cells from a hamster’s ovary, so-called ‘CHO’ cells, according to the company—not in human cells.
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.
- The 293T cells have been “immortalized” in the time since, having been repeatedly divided in the lab and undergone genetic changes.
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.
- 293T cells are now far enough removed from their original source that they aren’t thought of as involving abortion politics, but they are the result of the type of research that Trump has sought to block.
In August, for example, a new board created by the Department of Health and Human Services, and stacked with figures opposed to abortion, voted to withhold funding from 13 of 14 proposals.