PITTSBURGH – A team of scientists in Pittsburgh may have cracked the code to prevent COVID-19 and cure those who contract the virus.
At the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr Yi Shi and his team invented a nanobodies treatment for COVID-19 that is given by inhalation, which many patients will find easier than injections.
Shi said inhaling the treatment may work better than current COVID-19 vaccines.
“So basically what this technology could do is you can have a pretty convenient method by inhaling the nanobodies directly. And because it inhales directly into the lungs, where the infection occurs, it’s more effective than injecting it into the blood, ”Shi said.
Nanobodies developed for the threat are also active against mutations in the virus, including the highly contagious delta variant, and have been tested on hamsters, Shi said.
“We don’t have direct evidence, we are still collecting data, but based on our analysis, it appears that at least two types of nanobodies remain very effective against the delta variant,” Shi said. He added that studies have found a million-fold reductions in particles found in the lungs of animals after COVID-19 infection, which he called “very encouraging.”
Recently, Shi’s team worked with scientists at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, using their powerful microscopes to see how nanobodies work against the virus, and they found that it worked in three different ways. to neutralize COVID.
“I think it’s really important (…) to collaborate with people outside of Pittsburgh (who) have different scientists, different expertise to tackle this really important problem,” Shi said.
The team is continuing animal testing, but is hopeful that human clinical trials can begin soon.
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