Slashdot readers schwit1 and Futurepower(R) are sharing news about a potential coronavirus vaccine that has been found to produce antibodies capable of fighting off Covid-19. The Independent reports: The vaccine, which was tested on mice by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, generated the antibodies in quantities thought to be enough to “neutralize” the virus within two weeks of injection. The study’s authors are now set to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for investigational new drug approval ahead of phase one human clinical trials planned to start in the next few months. [T]he Pittsburgh research is the first study on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate to be published after review from fellow scientists at outside institutions. The scientists were able to act quickly because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier epidemics of coronaviruses: Sars in 2003 and Mers in 2014. What’s also neat about this potential vaccine is that it can sit at room temperature until it is needed and be scaled up to produce the protein on an industrial scale.
The fingertip-sized patch of 400 tiny microneedles “inject the spike protein pieces into the skin, where the immune reaction is strongest,” the report says. “The patch is stuck on like a plaster and the needles — which are made entirely of sugar and the protein pieces — simply dissolve into the skin.” While long-term testing is still required, “the mice who were given the Pittsburgh researchers’ Mers vaccine candidate developed enough antibodies to neutralize the virus for at least a year,” reports The Independent. “The antibody levels of the rodents vaccinated against Covid-19 ‘seem to be following the same trend,’ according to the researchers.”
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