They small molecule capable neutralizing COVID-19 discovery, which opens the way for a new drug to fight the pandemic - Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh (UPMC) have isolated a molecule capable of completely neutralizing the virus SARS-CoV-2.

The research has been published in the journal Cell and collects the results of the drug Ab8 that scientists have developed from that molecule to prove its possible use as a therapeutic and prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2.

The authors claim that Ab8 is effective in the prevention and treatment of infection in animals and that its small size makes its administration easier and could be given even by inhalation or through a patch. In addition, researchers do not predict negative side effects in people.

Scientists from the University of North Carolina, the University of Texas, The University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan participated in the evaluation of the drug.

Small molecule capable neutralizing COVID-19 discovery

The findings show that, even at very low concentrations, Ab8 completely blocks the entry of the virus into cells. However, it should be noted that the results have been obtained in animal models and the candidate has not yet begun to be tested in clinical trials.

Ab8 not only has potential as a therapy for COVID-19, but it could also be used to prevent people from contracting SARS-CoV-2 infections," says research co-author John Mellors, head of the Infectious Diseases Division at UPMC.

"The larger antibodies have worked against other infectious diseases and have been well tolerated, which gives us hope that it could be an effective treatment for patients with COVID - 19 and for the protection of those who have never had the infection and are not immune," he adds.

Abound Bio, a startup backed by the University of Pittsburgh, has licensed the Ab8 so it can be developed worldwide.

End of Small molecule capable neutralizing COVID-19 discovery


Chinese coronavirus vaccines could be ready for commercialization in November

China is betting on five major coronavirus vaccine projects and some could be ready for market release in November, according to an official at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as reported by Reuters.

Guizhen Wu, head of biosecurity at the center, has assured in an interview with a national television that Phase 3 clinical trials are developing without problem, so the vaccine can be expected to arrive by that date.

Four of the vaccines are already in the final phase of clinical trials and at least three have been administered to medical and military professionals with an emergency use authorization. Three of them are being developed by the state-owned pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the company Sinovac.

The fourth belongs to CanSino Biologics and received approval to be administered to the Chinese army in June. The candidate has received criticism because all the information about his development is collected in a first study published in The Lancet, in which he showed that he was safe and induces immune response against coronavirus after a second phase of clinical trials.

Wu herself has received one of the vaccines (she did not specify which one) and has assured that she has not experienced any side effects.

The fifth candidate China is betting on is a vaccine administered by the nasal route developed by the infectious diseases department of the University of Hong Kong has developed the candidate together with Xiamen University and the Wantai biologic Pharmacy in Beijing. The project has just received the green light to start clinical trials and test its efficacy and safety in humans.

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