After all the anti-respiratory warnings at the coronavirus drops, could the answer be to fight the pandemic? Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, have developed an aerosol formulation made from nanobatics similar to antibodies that can prevent the virus from infecting cells.
Self-administered through an injection or nasal spray, It could be a breakthrough in the treatment of coronavirus as the world awaits a reliable vaccine.
The researchers found that certain nanobodes, which come from bulbs and camels, can act as a latch on the hole protein found on the outside of SARS-CoV-2 and neutralize it. Their synthetic versions of these nanobodes are called AeroNabs.
“Used once a day, AeroNabs can provide strong and reliable protection against SARS-CoV-2 until a vaccine becomes available,”; the researchers said in their findings published in bioRxiv.
Nanobodes are immune proteins similar to antibodies found in bulbs and camels. They are much smaller than human antibodies, which makes them easier to manipulate and modify in the laboratory. Plus, unlike human antibodies, nanobodes can be produced easily and inexpensively.
The UCSF team examined approximately two billion synthetic nanofibers to find those that could bind to the SARS-CoV-2 peak protein, then re-engineered them to be even more powerful. During their research, they found that nanobodes remain effective in aerosol form, so they could be administered through a stable inhaler on the shelf or nasal spray.
“Much more effective than the wearable forms of personal protective equipment, we think of AeroNabs as a molecular form of PPE that can serve as an important stop until vaccines provide a more permanent solution to COVID-19,” he said. AeroNabs inventor Peter Walter, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and a Researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The nasal sprayer or nozzle will need to undergo clinical trials before it becomes commercially available. If these tests are successful, AeroNabs may be available as a free, over-the-counter medicine to prevent and treat COVID-19.