Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, said Tuesday that they have developed a nasal spray that can help ward off the coronavirus. They are working with business partners for clinical trials and production.
They call aerosol sprays AeroNabs. It’s not a cure, but it’s an antiviral that prevents COVID-19, a respiratory disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
“Much more effective than wearable personal protective equipment, we consider AeroNabs as a molecular form of PPE that could serve as an important deterrent until vaccines provide a Longer term solutions for COVID-19, ”said AeroNabs co-inventor Peter Walter, professor of biochemistry and physiology at UCSF.
UCSF graduate student Michael Schoof led a team of researchers who developed a synthetic molecule that puts a tunic into the virus’s internal mechanisms that allow it to infect human cells. In a new paper, Schoof and the company put up experiments in which they used live viruses to prove that the human-made molecule is among the most powerful antiviral agents yet, named. The science is SARS-CoV-2.
Schoof, Walter’s lab member and co-inventor of AeroNabs, said: “We have assembled an incredible group of talented biochemists, cell biologists, virologists and Structured biology to complete projects from start to finish in just a few months.
He and Walter said they were inspired by antibody-like immune proteins called nanobodies that naturally occur in llamas, camels and other related animals.
Dr. Aashish Manglik, an assistant professor of pharmacology, regularly uses nano bodies in her research on the structure and function of proteins that send and receive signals across cell membranes. He is also a co-inventor of AeroNabs.
“Although they act like antibodies found in the human immune system, the nano-bodies offer some unique advantages for effective treatment against SARS-CoV,” he explained. -2.
The smaller human antibodies, the smaller nanoparticles are manipulated and modified in a lab environment, and their simple structure also makes them more stable, UCSF scientists said. . This also makes them easier and less expensive to mass produce, giving them another advantage over human antibodies.
Scientists inject genes containing molecular blueprints for making nano-bodies into E. coli or yeast bacteria, and these bacteria become high-yield nano body factories. . Then, scientists use protein technique to grow those nanobjects into molecules synthesized in AeroNabs.
The key, they said, is to stop the so-called proteins from spiking on the coronavirus’s surface, allowing the virus to attach to receptors in other cells and enter them. The spikes also give the virus a crown-like appearance when viewed through an electron microscope, and that is why this family of pathogens is called a “coronavirus”.
Once the virus has attached to the ACE2 receptors in other cells, it turns its host into a coronavirus producer. UCSF researchers looked for nanobjects that could block the interaction between mutant proteins of coronavirus and ACE2 receptors in human cells.
They carefully examined the library of more than 2 billion synthetic nanoparticles recently developed in Manglik’s lab, which identified 21 nanoparticles that could prevent interactions between mutant receptors.
They then turned to a scientist in France to determine if the nanoparticles would work: Veronica Rezelj, a virologist in Marco Vignuzzi’s lab, at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, duped. power with the three most promising nanoparticles against live SARS-CoV-2 and discovers them to be powerful, preventing infection even at extremely low doses.
This most powerful type of nanoparticles not only places a sheath on the binding mechanisms of the mutant protein, but also acts like a molecular mouse trap, clamping the spikes when it is closed, inactive. This adds another layer of defense against the spike in ACE2 interaction, the researchers suggest.
Still, unsatisfied, the scientists performed other experiments that allowed them to find other ways to destroy SARS-CoV-2. A three-bonded nanoparticle is 200,000 times stronger than any single nanoparticle.
“They put the modified nano-bodies together, and” it was so effective it was beyond our ability to measure effectiveness, “said Walter.
“We’re not alone in thinking that AeroNabs is a remarkable technology,” says Manglik. “Our team is in constant discussion with potential trading partners who are interested in the production and distribution of AeroNabs, and we hope to begin human trials soon. If AeroNabs can prove to be as effective as we predict it, they could help reshape the course of the pandemic around the world.
They don’t give a timeline of when AeroNabs might be ready to market, but in the product announcement they said they envision it as a solution that could be used at least until the vaccine. approved. And, it will continue to be useful for those who cannot get access to the vaccine or do not respond to them.
They say they anticipate any product to be widely available, inexpensive, and sold over the counter.