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New York: US researchers have developed a novel drug that could not only prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, and its variants, but also treat other respiratory coronaviruses in mice.

A team led by University of Pennsylvania developed the drug diABZI, which activated the body’s innate immune response and effectively prevented severe COVID-19 symptoms, including those from the South African variant (B1351) and also curbed their spread in mice, the scientists said.

The mice treated with diABZI showed much less weight loss than the control mice, had significantly-reduced viral loads in their lungs and nostrils, and increased cytokine production.

“Few drugs have been identified as game-changers in blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection. Activating an early immune response therapeutically with a single dose is a promising strategy for controlling the virus, including the South African variant B1351, which has led to worldwide concern,” said Sara Cherry, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the varsity’s Perelman School of Medicine.

“The development of effective antivirals is urgently needed for controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease, especially as dangerous…


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