A Pittsburgh-created medicine to prevent and treat COVID-19 could begin testing in humans in 2021, University of Pittsburgh doctors said Tuesday.
Safety trials of the medicine, dubbed Ab8, will start next year with the hope of getting Food and Drug Administration approval to begin clinical trials, said Dr. John Mellors, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UPMC and Pitt, the hospital giant's academic partner.
The medicine — which is not a vaccine — is meant to help protect people who are already infected with COVID-19 from having it spread further in their bodies. It should last "weeks to months," Dr. Mellors said during a briefing, but added that it was too early to speculate about the cost of the treatment.
In an article published Monday in the medical journal Cell, Dr. Mellors and other researchers reported that the antibody they'd identified was effective in neutralizing COVID-19 in mice and hamsters.