Scientists have found the smallest protein compound that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The corresponding study was published in the journal Cell, RIA Novosti reports.
Experts at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States performed a quick analysis of 100 billion potential molecules that can bind to the coronavirus S-protein involved in the infection of the pathogen. As a result, scientists have found a protein compound ten times smaller than a full-length antibody, which, fusing with a part of the immunoglobulin, forms the Ab8 drug and acquires the functions of a full-length antibody.
Further experiments showed that even the lowest doses of Ab8 significantly reduced the number of viral particles in coronavirus-infected laboratory animals. Scientists note that the small size of the molecule increases its ability to diffuse into tissues, helps to better neutralize the virus, and also allows the drug to be administered by inhalation.
In addition, the researchers concluded that the drug does not bind to human cells, thus minimizing negative side effects.