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Liz

Pitt Scientists Discover Tiny Antibody Component That is Highly Effective in Preventing and Treating SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Animal Models

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Liz

Pittwire

University of Pittsburgh

Monday, September 14, 2020

Excerpt:

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that completely and specifically neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19. This antibody component, which is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody, has been used to construct a drug—known as Ab8—for potential use as a therapeutic and prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers report today in the journal Cell that Ab8 is highly effective in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters. Its tiny size not only increases its potential for diffusion in tissues to better neutralize the virus, but also makes it possible to administer the drug by alternative routes, including inhalation. Importantly, it does not bind to human cells—a good sign that it won’t have negative side-effects in people.

Ab8 was evaluated in conjunction with scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, as well as the University of British Columbia and University of Saskatchewan.

“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,” said co-author John Mellors, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Pitt and UPMC. “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.” Xianglei Liu of Pitt is also co-lead author.

Wei Li, assistant director of Pitt’s Center for Therapeutic Antibodies and co-lead author of the research, sifted through antibody components and found multiple therapeutic antibody candidates in record time. (UPMC)

The tiny antibody component is the variable, heavy chain (VH) domain of an immunoglobulin, which is a type of antibody found in the blood. It was found by “fishing” in a pool of more than 100 billion potential candidates using the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as bait. Ab8 is created when the VH domain is fused to part of the immunoglobulin tail region, adding the immune functions of a full-size antibody without the bulk.

Like the Pitt and UPMC vaccine candidate PittCoVacc that delivers an immunization through a spiky Band-Aid-like patch and overcomes the need for needles and refrigeration, the researchers are “thinking outside the box” when it comes to how Ab8 could be administered. Its small size might allow it to be given as an inhaled drug or intradermally, rather than intravenously through an IV drip, like most monoclonal antibodies currently in development.

Abound Bio, a newly formed UPMC-backed company, has licensed Ab8 for worldwide development.

*snip*

Full Article

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Taggart Transcontinental

Once you get the brain power in the US working on solving a problem, it will eventually destroy that issue. Sadly we haven't bothered to kill the belief that communism is a superior form of government.

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johnnybravo

I assume that this would take care of any SARS type virus which would be fantastic!

On a side note, Governor Abbott was telling us Texans the other day that it is important for us to get the flu vaccine because flu season is about to hit. We don’t want a lot of people getting the flu while COVID is active. Excuse me governor, you have a mask mandate throughout the state. Why would we need to get a flu vaccine if the masks and social distancing work? If someone here has a contact close to Abbott could you please pass that question along? 

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mjperry51

Waiting for Fauci to spout a reason to not consider using this regimen . . .

Edited by mjperry51

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zurg
3 hours ago, johnnybravo said:

I assume that this would take care of any SARS type virus which would be fantastic!

On a side note, Governor Abbott was telling us Texans the other day that it is important for us to get the flu vaccine because flu season is about to hit. We don’t want a lot of people getting the flu while COVID is active. Excuse me governor, you have a mask mandate throughout the state. Why would we need to get a flu vaccine if the masks and social distancing work? If someone here has a contact close to Abbott could you please pass that question along? 

I agree with your sentiment about the flu vaccine, and I normally don’t get one. However this time I’m looking at it differently, the vaccine is protective against “old” coronavirus types and since this “novel” one seems to have an old part and a weaponized part, I’m thinking that the regular flu vaccine may help. The Swedish experience of less restrictions has resulted in them claiming near herd immunity with only 20% infected - which can only work if a good fraction of the 80% have actually been exposed but are immune/have good defense - which in turn can only be if their bodies have seen a close relative of the virus before. 

I admit that I could be wrong, but that’s my current thinking. 

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Oathtaker
4 hours ago, mjperry51 said:

Waiting for Fauci to spout a reason to no consider using this regimen . . .

Well.... Gilead doesn’t hold the rights to the research so....

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mjperry51
2 hours ago, zurg said:

I agree with your sentiment about the flu vaccine, and I normally don’t get one. However this time I’m looking at it differently, the vaccine is protective against “old” coronavirus types and since this “novel” one seems to have an old part and a weaponized part, I’m thinking that the regular flu vaccine may help. The Swedish experience of less restrictions has resulted in them claiming near herd immunity with only 20% infected - which can only work if a good fraction of the 80% have actually been exposed but are immune/have good defense - which in turn can only be if their bodies have seen a close relative of the virus before. 

I admit that I could be wrong, but that’s my current thinking. 

I used to never get a flu shot -- had it maybe once in the past 45 years.

Since my cardiac issues were diagnosed in 11/18 I got one last year and will get one this year. Can't be quite as cavalier at 68!

Will wait until my annual after the first of the year, unless the flu season starts early. No sense in getting it too soon and have it wear off in February. . .

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