clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they have a potential coronavirus vaccine

University of Pittsburgh researchers believe they found a cure

This is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
This is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said they believe they have found a vaccine for the coronavirus after studying a similar virus.

What’s happened:

  • Scientists from University of Pittsburgh announced in a new study Thursday that they believe they could roll out a new vaccine quickly to “significantly impact the spread of disease.”
  • You would get the vaccine through a patch about the size of your finger.
  • The vaccine was tested on mice. It offered enough antibodies to defeat the virus. However, the mice were not tested for the long-term yet. There’s no clue what the side effects of the vaccine would be.
  • These scientists said they have previously done research on coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, which led to the discovery.
  • Dr. Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine, said in a statement: “These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus.”

Next steps

  • The scientists will need to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they clear it for human trials. They can start those trials in the next few months.
  • The scientists feel a patch would be better than a needle because the patch would send “microneedles” into bodies to defeat the virus, according to a press release.
  • The researchers said the cure would be “highly scalable” for the entire country.
  • Gambotto said: “For most vaccines, you don’t need to address scalability to begin with. But when you try to develop a vaccine quickly against a pandemic, that’s the first requirement.”
  • Testing would need at least a year if not longer to see any side effects, the researchers said.