“New breakthrough Covid vaccine nasal spray that only needs to be used once is on the way” – Miriam Stoppard

The coronavirus drug could be made as a nasal spray that you would only need to use once – and could even be delivered over the pharmacy counter

Person taking COVID-19 coronavirus nasal spray vaccine
The virus-hunting proteins could be an alternative to the vaccine

As the Covid virus continues to evolve, experts fear it may be able to evade our vaccines by causing mutations.

In its current form, it uses only one route into the body via a spike protein in the virus. It attaches to our ACE receptors and it’s in there.

But Covid has two other proteins that can bind to our cells and infect the body through other routes.

Professor Michael Jewett from the University of Washington School of Medicine, USA, explained that the Covid spike protein has three binding sites and current antibody therapies may only block one of them.

Prof Jewett added: “In order to enter the body, the spike protein and the ACE2 receptor shake hands. Our antiviral blocks that handshake and, as a bonus, is resistant to viral escape.”

Its breakthrough treatment contains powerful proteins that target the virus’s weak spots, preventing it from infecting the body.

Researchers used a novel method to screen for new treatments, using a supercomputer to design proteins that target other vulnerable sites on Covid-19’s surface.

At the same time, these proteins, called mini-binders, were designed to deal not only with the virus’s spike protein, but with the other two sites as well.

dr Miriam Stoppard is the medical writer for The Mirror

Prof. Jewett said: “Our mini-binders sit on top of the spike protein like a tripod, blocking all three. The interaction between the spike protein and antivirals is among the closest known in biology.

“When we put the spike protein and our antiviral therapeutic together in a test tube for a week, they stayed connected and never fell apart.”

“Best of all, the treatment reduced Covid symptoms and prevented infection in mice when researchers tested them in a nasal spray.

Prof Jewett’s new treatment is now moving into human clinical trials after scientists proved it was effective in rodents.

At the moment Covid cannot infect the body without binding to the ACE2 receptor and with the other entry points covered the treatment will work against new variants that may arise in the future.

The virus-hunting proteins could be an alternative to vaccines because they can be manufactured on a large scale, making them much less expensive to produce.

They are also stable at high temperatures.

Another piece of good news is that the new drug could be manufactured as a nasal spray that you would only need to use once.

Maybe even available from the pharmacy!

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/new-ground-breaking-covid-vaccination-27096025 "New breakthrough Covid vaccine nasal spray that only needs to be used once is on the way" - Miriam Stoppard

Fry Electronics Team

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