Researchers at the University of Helsinki have developed TriSb92, a drug that can effectively prevent infection from all known SARS-CoV-2 variations when administered nasally. Experiments on cell cultures and animal models have demonstrated its effectiveness against all previous versions, and it remains functional at room temperature for at least 18 months.
Researchers have developed a compound that is highly efficient when given nasally to combat the disease that is caused by all known variations of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The compound can be a valuable tool in planning for future epidemics, as it is intended to minimize both the transmission and the dissemination of the virus.
TriSb92, a protein developed at the University of Helsinki, has been demonstrated to be effective against coronavirus infection in laboratory experiments. The molecule pinpoints a region in the coronavirus that is common to all current strains of the virus and inhibits its functioning.
Anna R. Mäkelä, a Postdoctoral Researcher in Professor Kalle Saksela's research group, claims that the TriSb92 molecule is extremely effective in preventing infection when administered nasally.
Animal models have also demonstrated that, unlike face masks, a molecule may, when injected into the nose, prevent infection after a few hours of exposure.
The researcher claims that the protein remains fully functional at room temperature for at least 18 months, making it an ideal nasal spray.
The findings were published in the Nature Communications journal on March 24.
Although the worst stage of the coronavirus epidemic is now gone, nasally administered medication may be a significant help in preventing the spread of the virus in the future.
Mäkelä claims that the most recent versions effectively bypass both vaccines and the COVID-19 infection's immunity.
Moreover, the nasal spray can help people who are immunocompromised and elderly who are not sufficiently protected from serious illness.
According to the researchers, the molecule may also work against future animal-borne close relatives of SARS-CoV-2, which are expected to be the cause of entirely new coronavirus epidemics.
Mäkelä states that the triSb92 molecule's influence region in the coronavirus has remained virtually unchanged in all viral versions until now.
Until vaccine development, manufacturing, and distribution, the easily and inexpensively manufactured TriSb92 might be a very useful first line of defense against a similar epidemic.
According to the authors, the sherpabody-technology used in the prevention of many other viral diseases, including influenza, and other respiratory infections, is also applicable.
"The whole approach stems from a technical implementation based on a binder protein platform developed in Finland, which was not intended to be used for the development of an antiviral medication." Mäkelä adds that this platform opens the way for many other creative approaches to the identification of diseased cells or pathogens in patients.
The drug must be tested in clinical trials in the following stage, before it may be commercially available.
Mäkelä cautions that a successful commercialization of nasal spray might lead to the formation of a viable Finnish company.
Anna R. Mäkelä, Hasan Uurlu, Liina Hannula, Petja Salminen, Riku Fagerlund, Sanna Mäki, Anu Haveri, Tomas Strandin, Jussi Hepojoki, Suvi Kuivanen, Lev Levanov, Olli Ritvos, Pamela sterlund, Tarja Sironen, Olli Vapalahti, Juha T. Huiskonen,