Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have discovered a biomolecule that blocks virus that causes the novel Coronavirus. According to the scientists, the new antibody component, which is the smallest biological molecule, is reportedly 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody.
This has also been used to create the drug Ab8, the scientists said in the report published in the journal Cell on Monday. This new drug is seen as a potential therapeutic for SARS-CoV-2. The biomolecule is said to completely and specifically neutralize" SARS-CoV-2" virus and is prophylactic to treat and protect against the coronavirus.
While scientists around the world are trying their hands in creating the best vaccine to prevent the deadly disease, this new discovery of the antibody that can help in blocking COVID-19 virus looks promising.
The researchers, along with scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Saskatchewan, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the University of British Columbia, will be evaluating Ab8 and its efficacy.
According to the study report, the team at University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases and Galveston National Laboratory conducted tests on mice with the new drug Ab8 and found that the drug blocks the virus from entering cells. The rodents that were treated with the drug had significantly less (10-fold less of the amount) of infectious virus compared to those that were not treated.
Ab8 Potential Therapeutic Drug For SARS-CoV-2
John Mellors, the study co-author at UPMC, revealed that Ab8 not only has potential as a therapy for COVID-19, but it can also prevent people from getting SARS-CoV-2 infections. He further said that the scientists have hope this new drug made from the discovered antibody could be effective in the treatment of Coronavirus as larger sized antibodies have worked against other infectious diseases and have been "well-tolerated".
Moreover, the newly discovered biological molecule could also give protection to "those who have never had the infection, are prone to acquiring the virus or aren't immune, said John Mellors, who is the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Reports say that researchers and scientists involved in the study are expected to reveal more about their work on Tuesday.