Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine say they have isolated a tiny molecule that "completely and specifically neutralizes" the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the University of Pittsburgh.
The antibody component, which is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody, has been used to make the drug Ab8. Its small size also makes it easy to administer through inhalation.
And since it does not bind to human cells, it is unlikely to produce side effects.
The findings of were published in the journal Cell.
The report found the drug has been "highly effective in preventing and treating" SARS-CoV-2 infections in mice and hamsters.
"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, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Pitt and 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."
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