Author: Tran Luu
According to Dr. John Mellors, chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at UMPC, which is the University of Pittsburgh’s partner hospital, there will be a treatment for COVID-19 available for human trials in 2021. The drug, dubbed Ab8, is supposed to be helpful in preventing the virus from spreading even further in an infected person’s body, and it should last for a few weeks to months, depending on the effectiveness of it and how it adjusts to each individual’s body.
Upon further research, Dr. Mellors and his team found that the antibody they were able to identified was effective in neutralizing COVID-19 in mice and hamsters. The antibody was found from a library of one trillion antibodies drawn from volunteer donors, and the antibody prevents the virus from attaching itself to human cells and further the infection. This finding was then used to create the Ab8 mentioned above, and its primary purpose is to not worsen an infected person’s condition. The treatment should be most helpful for frontline workers who are at high risk of being exposed to the virus.
Furthermore, the University of Pittsburgh and UMPC are also testing an RNA-based vaccine that was created by Moderna Inc., and they are currently involved in more than 100 research projects that have to do with finding the cure for COVID-19. Their finding of the antibody has also been backed by researchers and scientists at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Saskatchewan. More information will be given as their research progresses further on.