Researchers find smallest biological molecule that can completely neutralise Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 15, 2020 Published on September 15, 2020

Due to its potential for diffusion in tissues, the molecule, used in the drug Ab8, is highly effective in preventing and treating Covid, says study published in Cell

Researchers have successfully isolated the smallest biological molecule that they claim can completely neutralise the coronavirus, according to a study published in the journal Cell.

This molecule is ten times smaller than a full-sized antibody. Researchers mentioned that the molecule has been used to develop a drug — Ab8 — for potential use as a therapeutic and prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers, including an Indian origin researcher, from the University of British Columbia in Canada, discovered that the drug is highly effective in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters.

According to researchers, Ab8’s size increases its potential for diffusion in tissues to better neutralise the virus. It also makes it possible to administer the drug by alternative routes, including inhalation, the researchers said.

The drug does not bind to human cells, which is a good sign that it won’t have negative side-effects in people, they said.

According to study co-author John Mellors, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US, “Ab8 not only has potential as a therapy for Covid-19, but it also could be used to keep people from getting SARS-CoV-2 infections.”

Mellors added: “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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Published on September 15, 2020
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