Researchers discover an antibody that can cure COVID-19, What is it?September 17, 2020 17:47
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Researchers discovered a molecule that can completely neutralize the virus that causes COVID-19.
Researchers and health experts across the world are working tirelessly to develop the vaccine for coronavirus. Recently, researchers at Pittsburg have developed the smallest molecule to date according to certain reports that can completely neutralize the virus causing coronavirus.
If the reports are believed to be true, this molecule discovered by the experts can help them to develop a drug that can prevent and cure the virus.
The molecule discovered is an antibody through which the drug is being made and the clinical trials of this drug are expected to begin in 2021.
Dr. John Mellors of the University of Pittsburg part of this research said that the molecule’s size is very small indicating that the doctors can treat and cure COVID-19 in more people as only a small part of it would be needed to develop the drug.
Researchers claim that the molecule is extremely potent which means it has a greater impact on people.
This antibody molecule is being called as ‘AB8’ by the researchers.
AB8 is that kind of antibody that can keep a person away from the virus too so it acts as a vaccine as well as a drug.
How did the researchers develop this molecule?
The researchers have used the coronavirus spike protein as bait to detect this molecule in a sea of antibodies.
They attached this fragment to a full sized immune protein and found that this molecule had COVID-19 fighting capacity without added heft.
This AB8 molecule is half the size of an antibody that is generally found.
Since this antibody is small and lightweight, researchers believe that even a shot or a nasal spray may be able to produce an adequate effect in curing the virus instead of an injection or an oral tablet.
The AB8 molecule has already proven to be effective and neutralized the virus in mice and hamsters.
After taking approval from the FDA, the clinical human trials of this drug would be started as early as 2021.
The researchers are hopeful that once the human trials of this drug are completed, it would not cost much for the people to purchase this drug at pharmacies.
However, the cost of the clinical trials would be huge enough which can make the drug a little expensive but affordable.
While the experts are hopeful of this drug, there are challenges to this as well.
AB8 needs to be administered to COVID-19 positive patients during the onset of the disease mainly during the time when the symptoms are not that prominent. This is a herculean task in front of the researchers.
Another major challenge is the longevity of the antibodies. With many reports flooding that the natural COVID-19 antibodies are not staying for long, AB8 could also degrade even quicker in the body and in some cases may not even produce the immune response.
By Gayatri Yellayi