A Compound for Covid-19 Protection

Scientists at UC San Francisco are working on an intriguing intervention that could provide people some Covid-19 protection while the world waits for a vaccine. The group has engineered a synthetic, production-ready molecule that they say “straitjackets the crucial SARS-CoV-2 machinery that allows the virus to infect our cells.” As they report in a new paper, now available on the preprint server bioRxiv (which means it hasn’t been peer reviewed yet, so keep that in mind), experiments using live virus show that “the molecule is among the most potent SARS-CoV-2 antivirals yet discovered.” Here’s what else UCSF says about the project:

“In an aerosol formulation they tested, dubbed “AeroNabs” by the researchers, these molecules could be self-administered with a nasal spray or inhaler. Used once a day, AeroNabs could provide powerful, reliable protection against SARS-CoV-2 until a vaccine becomes available. The research team is in active discussions with commercial partners to ramp up manufacturing and clinical testing of AeroNabs. If these tests are successful, the scientists aim to make AeroNabs widely available as an inexpensive, over-the-counter medication to prevent and treat COVID-19.”

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