The race for the development of a vaccine is on full swing all over the world. The people are utmost expecting by the end of 2020 itself. Although many scientists involve themselves in a vaccine project, some ponder differently to control the pandemic virus. They isolated the smallest biological molecule, which would help to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus completely.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine discover an antibody component that is 10 times smaller than an original antibody molecule. The isolated part is found useful in constructing a drug Ab8 to treat the affected patients. The tiny antibody component is the variable in the heavy chain (VH) of an immunoglobulin. This corresponds to the specificity of an antibody molecule towards a particular virus. They have found the component after analyzing more than 100 billion potential candidates using the viral spike protein as bait.
The lead of the study
When the VH component of an antibody fuses with the tail region of the immunoglobulin, the drug Ab8 produced. Due to the smaller size, it can easily diffuse into the tissues and effectively neutralizes the virus. In addition to that, the drug has got various administration routes. It can be through inhalation or via superficial injection, not necessarily be an IV.
During testing of Ab8 to a live SARS-CoV-2 virus at the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases, they found that it blocked the virus from entering cells. Even at the lowest dose, Ab8 causes a 10-fold decrease in the amount of infectious virus in the mice. Also, this molecule helps prevent infection in hamsters.
The most important thing is that it doesn’t cause any negative side effects in humans as it won’t bind to human cells. Therefore, it can be an upcoming and promising treatment for COVID-19 patients and also helps to evade off the disease.
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Source: Fox News