Scientists Discover New Antibody Component


Day 176: Stay Safe Minnesota

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh have reportedly develop highly effective tiny antibody component in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in animal models.

According to the University of Pittsburgh PittWire, scientists from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine “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 study is published in the journal Cell on September 14, 2020.

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.


It’s also noted in PittWire that “Dimiter Dimitrov, senior author of the Cell publication and director of Pitt’s Center for Antibody Therapeutics, was one of the first to discover neutralizing antibodies for the original SARS coronavirus in 2003. In the ensuing years, his team discovered potent antibodies against many other infectious diseases, including those caused by MERS-CoV, dengue, Hendra and Nipah viruses. The antibody against Hendra and Nipah viruses has been evaluated in humans and approved for clinical use on a compassionate basis in Australia.”

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Sept 18, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 87,807 (out of 1,791,680 tested) with 1,950 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Sept 18, 2:22 p.m.) there are 6,705,114 confirmed covid19 infection with 198,197 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 30,306,469 with 948,147 deaths.