Americans aren’t going to just sit and wait for treatments or cures to come about. We go out and look for them. Sometimes we stumble over them while looking for something else. Sometimes it’s just a treatment. Other times it’s an outright cure. In the case of COVID, which immediately became political, you can hope the good news of at least a treatment can be utilized. So far that hasn’t been the case.
COVID research netted a tiny particle
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has found “the smallest biological molecule” that “completely and specifically neutralizes” the COVID virus.
It’s ten times smaller than a normal sized antibody. It’s already been used to create Ab8. This is a possible preventative treatment for SARS Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID.
COVID medical advances
John Mellors is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Pitt and UPMC. He talked about Ab8. “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. 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.”
The drug has been tested on mice and hamsters with encouraging results. Ab8 does not bind to human cells so there’s less likely to be reactions.
There’s COVID work going on in more than one place
Both the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases and Galveston National Laboratory tested Ab8. It was found the drug prevented the virus from accessing cells.
This was found after the world’s largest COVID trial by AstraZeneca was put on hold. The company put out a statement that “Our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee. This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials. In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully. We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline. We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”
A participant in Britain had a serious adverse reaction. That person is expected to recover.