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Covid, ‘bait’ to also capture Omicron variant: study by drug

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A drug capable of capturing and stopping the coronavirus, including the Omicron variant. This is the goal of the project by scientists from Northwestern Medicine and the MD Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas. Researchers have identified natural nanobubbles that function as a bait, capable of capturing and neutralizing covid in its various variants and potentially even new, future coronaviruses. They are called ‘evAce2’, they travel in the blood of Covid-19 patients. Scientists now hope to turn them into a universal anti-Covid drug in spray or injectable form, to be used in prevention and treatment. A biological weapon that promises “super-powerful” efficacy and “minimal toxicity”. The study that describes and proves its effectiveness, for now in preclinical tests, is published in ‘Nature Communications’ and supported by various American organizations including research organizations and consortia, academic centers and institutions. More than 30 authors have collaborated, two of whom (senior co-authors Huiping Liu and Deyu Fang of Northwestern) have already formed a company, called Exomira, to acquire the required patent on the discovery and translate it into therapy with the help of others. companies in the sector. evAce2 are tiny nanometer-sized lipid bubbles that express the Ace2 protein, which is the one attached to the Spike protein of Sars-CoV-2. They are produced by the infected organism as a natural antiviral response, in concentrations that are all the greater the more severe the infection. The idea of ​​the US teams is that, by ‘harpooning’ the Ace2 of these nanobubbles instead of the Ace2 of the target cell, the virus will not attack the organism, but will float harmlessly in the blood until it is eliminated by the scavenger macrophages of the immune system. And indeed, in mice to which they were administered by air, evAce2 proved to be able to counteract the new variants of the pandemic coronavirus more and better than the original Wuhan strain. “Each time a new mutant strain of Sars-CoV-2, the original vaccine and therapeutic antibodies can lose potency – explains Liu, associate professor of pharmacology and medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine physician – The beauty of evAce2 is instead its superpower in the block numerous strains of coronaviruses, including the current one, and even future SARS coronaviruses. Our mouse studies demonstrate the therapeutic potential of evAce2 in preventing or blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection when delivered via droplets into the airways. ” “The key point of this study – highlights Raghu Kalluri, president of cancer biology at MD Anderson, another senior co-author of The article – is the identification of extracellular vesicles expressing the Ace2 receptor, produced by the human body as a defense against Sars-CoV-2 infection, and the discovery of how to exploit this natural response to develop a new potential therapy “anti-Covid. Alongside vaccines, Liu points out,” it remains urgent to identify new treatments. We believe that evAce2 can meet the challenge of tackling different strains of Sars-CoV-2 and future emerging coronaviruses, to protect immunocompromised people (at least 2.7% of US adults), those not vaccinated (94% in low income and over 30% in the United States) and also vaccinated ones that could reinfect “in the case of viral variants that break immunity.

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