Health

Researchers say anti-COVID nasal spray can protect against infection for up to 8 hours

Scientists at the University of Helsinki have developed a new nasal spray treatment that could provide protection against COVID-19 for ‘hours’.

A statement issued by the university said that Finnish researchers have developed a molecule that has the ability to inactivate the spike protein of the coronavirus and provides effective short-term protection against the virus.

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She said petri dish cell cultures and animal studies showed TriSb92 protects against infection “for at least eight hours, even in high-risk situations” and is effective immediately upon ingestion.

“TriSb92 effectively neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and its variants of concern, including delta and omicron. Giving a modest dose of TriSb92 (5 or 50 mcg) intranasally eight hours prior to challenge with SARS-CoV-2 B. 1.351 protected mice efficiently from infection,” the study authors wrote. “The target epitope of TriSb92 was identified by cryo-EM, which revealed a conformational shift in the spike trimmer rather than competing for ACE2 binding as the molecular basis for its potent inhibitory action.”

“Our results highlight the potential of nasal inhibitors in protecting susceptible individuals from SARS-CoV-2 infection, and describe a new type of inhibitor that could be useful in addressing the challenge posed by the omicron variant,” they said.

The group’s findings were released as a preliminary draft late last month, but they have yet to be reviewed, and more research is necessary before they can be used in humans.

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“In animal models, intranasally administered TriSb92 provided protection against infection in the exposure condition as all unprotected mice became infected,” postdoctoral researcher Anna Makela, first author of the study, said in a statement.

She explained, “Targeting this inhibitory effect of the TriSb92 molecule to the site of the coronavirus spike protein common to all types of virus makes it possible to effectively inhibit the ability of all known variants, including omicron, to infect people,” noting that the molecule was able to block the spread of SARS. , suggesting that future variants of SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronaviruses could be “susceptible to infection”.

woman holding nasal spray
(istock)

The nasal spray treatment is not a vaccine for COVID-19 and University of Helsinki professor Kali Sakella — who works in the lab with Makela — is involved in developing a nasally administered Finnish coronavirus vaccine, which is expected to advance to clinical trials in the spring.

The couple confirmed that TriSb92 is a “vaccine supplement.”

“These types of infection-preventing molecules, or antiviral drugs for that matter, cannot replace vaccines in protecting the population from coronavirus disease,” Saxella said.

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“Individuals whose immune systems do not respond strongly enough to vaccines especially come to mind. Having said that, we know that new variants, particularly omicron, are able to circumvent even effective vaccine responses alarmingly well. If taken before any type From social interaction, TriSb92 may be beneficial to people for whom vaccine protection is not sufficient for one reason or another. Depending on the epidemiological situation, it could also benefit fully vaccinated individuals when given before any condition associated with a higher risk of exposure,” the virologist noted.

Saquila told Gizmodo in an email that the technology is “cheap and highly manufacturable,” but he doesn’t know how long the atomizer might take to reach clinical trials and whether it would be designated as a drug or medical device.

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