Nanodecoys Binds and Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2

Researchers developed a novel nanodecoy system that provides binding sites for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and later neutralizes the virus. The nanovesicles prevent the virus from binding to lung cells and lead to its eventual destruction by the immune system. Researchers derived these nanodecoys from the lung spheroid cells, containing the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on their surface.

As the ACE2 receptor is the entry point and binding site for the SARS-CoV-2 virus into lung cells, these vesicles trick the virus by acting as fake binding sites. The nanodecoys therapy was promising as an inhaled treatment in rodents and non-human primates and may be useful as a COVID-19 treatment in humans. Existing approaches to fight COVID-19 are mainly focused on the virus itself. All our vaccines are targeted against the spike protein, and one of the few approved direct treatments for COVID-19 are monoclonal antibodies targeted against the virus. However, the new viral variants proved that the virus is not a static target, and such treatments are rendered ineffective by viral mutations.

Viral target in our body – the ACE2 receptor is less likely to change. This novel treatment aims at the viral particles in the lungs with binding sites, rendering it ineffective and quickly cleared by the immune system. The researchers hope that this nanodecoy treatment enhances viral clearance from the body, reduces symptoms, and stops the virus from damaging the lungs.

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