Preprint: Scientists ‘Ferret’ Out New COVID Nasal Spray Preventive

A nasal spray designed to block SARS-CoV-2 was completely protective against the virus in a small preprint study of ferrets by Columbia University and other researchers.
 
Bonus: It’s inexpensive and doesn’t need refrigeration.
 
If—and it’s still a big if—it’s shown to work in humans, “a daily spritz up the nose would act like a vaccine,” writes Donald G. McNeil Jr. in The New York Times.
 
How It Works: The spray contains a lipopeptide identical to amino acids in the virus’s signature spike protein, which must “unzip” to invade a cell. That’s when the spray's lipopeptide latches "on to one of the spike’s amino acid chains ... preventing the virus from attaching" to the cell wall.
 
Imagine “you are zipping a zipper but you put another zipper inside, so the two sides cannot meet,” explains co-author Matteo Porotto.
 
The next step: Funding human clinical trials. Researchers are hoping for help from the Operation Warp Speed and Big Pharma.
 
The New York Times

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