UPMC scientists as soon as next year could begin testing in humans a breakthrough drug that could potentially end the pandemic by treating — and even preventing — the virus that causes covid-19.
The drug’s foundation is an antibody that can block the virus from infecting cells. The drug, called Ab8, has been effective in preventing and treating covid-19 in mice and hamsters. Human clinical trials could begin in early 2021.
At a news conference Tuesday, UPMC officials said the drug will be especially helpful to vulnerable patients who wouldn’t respond as well to a vaccine, such as the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.