The researchers reported that Ab8 is "highly effective" in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — University of Pittsburgh scientists have isolated a biomolecule that “completely and specifically” neutralizes the virus that causes coronavirus.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a report published Monday in the journal Cell. The antibody component is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody and has been used to create a drug known as Ab8 for use as a therapeutic and preventative against SARS-CoV-2, the report says.

The researchers reported that Ab8 is “highly effective” in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection 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, 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.”

Stay with KDKA for more on this developing story.

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