A groundbreaking treatment in the form of a nasal spray could protect people from all COVID-19 variants and will advance its human trials after successful lab tests. The new spray contains ‘potent’ proteins which target the virus’ weak spots and stop it from infecting the body, say researchers at the University of Washington and Northwestern University.
Some treatments against COVID-19, including vaccines, have become less effective as the virus has continued to evolve. Now, a more straightforward solution to combat the virus will begin human clinical trials after promising results of their mice tests, published on April 12, 2022, in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Nasal sprays are also being tested in several research institutes in England and Israel as effective defences for COVID-19.
First, the American scientists used supercomputers to design proteins that could stick to vulnerable sites on the surface of the novel coronavirus, targeting the spike protein. The team then re-engineered the proteins — rather than targeting just one site of the virus’ infectious machinery, the mini binders simultaneously bind to three sites, making the drug less likely to detach.