One of the students from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) stated that they have generated a very potent molecule. It is created to replicate the effects of traditional antibodies.
Peter Walter, the co-inventor of the AeroNab molecules, believes that this nasal spray could be game-changer for the world. "It's like a mousetrap. It binds to the spike protein so tightly that it basically never lets go," he adds.
To understand how AeroNabs works, we have to first dig into the fact as to how the novel COVID-19 virus affects a human body.
The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is fitted with protein spikes sticking out of the envelope that forms the surface and houses a core of genetic material in a human body. Any virus that enters a human body looks for compatible receptors — something that would allow it to invade the body at the cellular level. The nCoV uses SARS as receptors that are found in both lungs and small intestines.
The AeroNabs would simply prevent the spike protein from opening up before the virus attaches to cell receptors. This way, it halts the virus's ability to bind to the SARS receptors. As a result of which, it slows down the spread of coronavirus in the human body.
"They are incredibly robust," Peter Walter added. "It's basically like an antibody, but it's about one-tenth the size."
Several talented biochemists, cell biologists, virologists, and structural biologists came together to work on AeroNabs and as per Walter, it is far more effective than wearable PPE kits. The researches behind AeroNabs consider it a molecular form of PPE that could help everyone who uses it.
"Far more effective than wearable forms of personal protective equipment, we think of AeroNabs as a molecular form of PPE that could serve as an important stopgap until vaccines provide a more permanent solution to COVID-19."
When Will AeroNabs be Available for Public Use?
It should be noted here that AeroNabs cannot remove the nCoV from the body. It only slows down the spread of it. The main idea behind AeroNabs is to protect everyone from the deadly disease before a potent vaccine becomes available for mass usage.
The research team at UCSF is currently discussing the use and effects of these nasal sprays with different pharmaceutical companies. If the clinical trials of AeroNabs are successful, then it could be available to the public as an over-the-counter drug in the next three or four months.