Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine say they have conducted the first study of inhaled nanobodies that can effectively prevent and treat severe COVID-19 in hamsters. Nanobodies are similar to monoclonal antibodies. But smaller, more stable and cheaper to manufacture.
For the study, published Wednesday in Science Advances, researchers administered a low dose of nanobody-21 (PiN-21) to hamsters to see if it could prevent significant weight loss associated with it. Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection? The team said not only But prevent weight loss But it also reduced the number of infectious particles in the animal’s nasal cavity, throat and lungs by a million times compared to the placebo group.
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“By using inhalation therapy that can be administered directly to the infected area – the airways and lungs – we can make the treatment more effective,” says Ui Shi, Ph.D. in a press release. “We are excited and strongly supported by our data suggesting that the PiN-21 can provide excellent protection against serious disease and potentially prevent human-to-human transmission of the virus.”
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The researchers also noted that nanobodies are free vaccines and are not intended to replace or compete with them. However, they say that not only But the nano-body can now help cure people sick from the virus. But it can also provide alternative forms of protection for people who cannot be vaccinated for other medical reasons.