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Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have isolated “the smallest biological molecule” that “completely and specifically neutralizes” SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Foxnews reported.
Video: CBS Pittsburgh
The antibody component is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody, and has been used to create the drug Ab8, shared in the report published by the researchers in the journal Cell on 14 Sep. The drug is seen as a potential preventative against SARS-CoV-2.
According to the report, the drug has been “highly effective in preventing and treating” the SARS-CoV-2 infections in mice and hamsters during tests. The drug also reportedly does not bind to human cells, which suggests it will not have negative side effects in people.
“Ab8 not only has potential as therapy for COVID-19, but it also could be used to keep people from getting SARS-CoV-2 infections,” said co-author John Mellors, M.D., chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UPMC and Pitt, said in a release from UPMC. “Antibodies of larger size have worked against other infectious diseases and have been well tolerated, giving us hope that it could be an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19 and for protection of those who have never had the infection and are not immune.”
According to Dailymail, researchers now have to find to have people take the drug perhaps either by injection or maybe through inhalation through the nose.
Ab8 was evaluated by teams of scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, as well as the University of British Columbia and University of Saskatchewan.
All noted how it appeared to stop the virus from entering cells.
The mice who were given Ab8 had ten times less infectious virus than those rodents who were not treated with the new drug.
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