The team is now focused on identifying the most powerful antibodies and possibly combining them to mitigate the risk of the new coronavirus mutating.
If all goes well, interested developers could mass produce them for testing, first on animals and eventually on humans.
The group has partnered with a Sino-US biotech firm, Brii Biosciences, in an effort "to advance multiple candidates for prophylactic and therapeutic intervention", according to a statement by Brii.
"The importance of antibodies has been proven in the world of medicine for decades now," Zhang said. "They can be used to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases."
The antibodies are not a vaccine but could potentially be given to at-risk people with the aim of preventing them from contracting Covid-19.
Normally it takes around two years for a drug even to get close to approval for use on patients, but the Covid-19 pandemic means things are moving faster, he said, with steps that would previously be taken sequentially now being done in parallel.
Zhang, who posted the findings online, hopes the antibodies can be tested on humans in six months. If they are found to be effective in trials, actual use for treatment would take longer.
Other experts urge caution.
"There's a number of steps which will now need to be followed before it could be used as a treatment for coronavirus patients," Hong Kong University infectious disease specialist Ben Cowling said when the finding was described to him by Reuters.
"But it's really exciting to find these potential treatments, and then have a chance to test them out. Because if we can find more candidates, then eventually we'll have better treatment," Cowling said.