Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have isolated the “smallest biological molecule” that “completely and specifically neutralizes” the viruses that cause coronaviruses.
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The antibody component is 10 times smaller than a full-size antibody, and has been used to make the drug A8, shared in a report published by researchers in the journal Cell on Monday. The drug is seen as a possible deterrent against SARS-CoV-2.
Reportedly, the drug has been “highly effective and treatment” to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters during testing. The drug also reportedly does not bind to human cells, which suggests that it will not cause negative side effects in people.
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“Ab8 not only has potential as a therapy for COVID-19, but it can also be used to protect people from SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Pitt and co-author of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UPMC John Mellors said. . “Large-sized antibodies have worked against and tolerate other infectious diseases, we hope that this can be an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19 and to protect those who ever have Not infected and not immune. ”
Pitt’s Jianglei Liu is also the study’s co-lead author.
Researchers are also “thinking outside the box” as to how the drug can be administered, suggesting that it may be via inhalation or a superficial injection instead of an IV.
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According to the report, the team at the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases and Galveston National Laboratory tested the A8 and found that it prevents the virus from entering cells. In mice tests, the amount of infectious virus was 10 times lower in those treated with A8 who were untreated.