Scientists and UC San Francisco announced an inhalable protection against COVID-19 with the goal of being produced into an affordable, over-the-counter antiviral medication in the coming months. UCSF is working to start human trials on what they have called “AeroNabs.” “This is a molecule that would bind to the coronavirus protein incredibly tightly. And when it binds to the virus, it completely diffuses its ability to infect human cells,” UCSF assistant professor and co-inventor Aashish Manglik explained. The COVID-19 virus has spike proteins capable of attaching to a cell receptor, becoming a host to produce more novel coronavirus and spread infection. “I like to think of it as a molecular mousetrap,” Manglik said. “It clamps on the virus, prevents it from ever letting go — and that’s essentially what this is.”Manglik was able to turn the AeroNab into an aerosol, which in turn could be used as a nasal spray or inhaler. “Really, the hope for what we developed is essentially to serve as a bridge until we have a vaccine that’s widely deployable and can be used by the vast majority of the population,” Manglik said. “People like nursing home residents or health care workers, or people in meatpacking plants — things like that. People who are high-risk who can administer this molecule maybe once a day as an inhaler or nasal spray.”UCSF said the research team is in active discussions with commercial partners for manufacturing and clinical testing. “Even with a vaccine available, it’s one thing to have a vaccine that works, it’s another thing to have it available at scale. And then also, durable immunity for a large portion of the population with a vaccine,” Manglik said. “And there may be some segments of the population that either can’t tolerate a vaccine or the effect of a vaccine diminishes more rapidly.”

Scientists and UC San Francisco announced an inhalable protection against COVID-19 with the goal of being produced into an affordable, over-the-counter antiviral medication in the coming months.

UCSF is working to start human trials on what they have called “AeroNabs.”

“This is a molecule that would bind to the coronavirus protein incredibly tightly. And when it binds to the virus, it completely diffuses its ability to infect human cells,” UCSF assistant professor and co-inventor Aashish Manglik explained.

The COVID-19 virus has spike proteins capable of attaching to a cell receptor, becoming a host to produce more novel coronavirus and spread infection.

“I like to think of it as a molecular mousetrap,” Manglik said. “It clamps on the virus, prevents it from ever letting go — and that’s essentially what this is.”

Manglik was able to turn the AeroNab into an aerosol, which in turn could be used as a nasal spray or inhaler.

“Really, the hope for what we developed is essentially to serve as a bridge until we have a vaccine that’s widely deployable and can be used by the vast majority of the population,” Manglik said. “People like nursing home residents or health care workers, or people in meatpacking plants — things like that. People who are high-risk who can administer this molecule maybe once a day as an inhaler or nasal spray.”

UCSF said the research team is in active discussions with commercial partners for manufacturing and clinical testing.

“Even with a vaccine available, it’s one thing to have a vaccine that works, it’s another thing to have it available at scale. And then also, durable immunity for a large portion of the population with a vaccine,” Manglik said. “And there may be some segments of the population that either can’t tolerate a vaccine or the effect of a vaccine diminishes more rapidly.”

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