Study: Nano-decoys from human LSCs can neutralize SARS-CoV-2

A recent study finds that, Nano-decoys can bind to and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

Key Points

  • Nano-decoys are made from human lung spheroid cells (LSCs).
  • It promotes viral clearance and reduce lung injury in macaque model of COVID-19.
  • Nano-decoy therapy could be effective against emerging variants of coronavirus by mimicking the receptor that coronavirus binds to rather than targeting it.

How this therapy will work?

SARS-CoV-2 enters the cell when its spike protein binds to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on cell’s surface. LSCs, which is a natural mixture of lung epithelial stem cells and mesenchymal cells, also express ACE2. It making LSCs a perfect vehicle for tricking coronavirus.

How testing was done?

Scientists confirmed that spike protein did bind to ACE2 receptors on decoys in vitro. They then used a fabricated SARS-CoV-2 mimic virus for in vivo testing in mouse model. Decoys were delivered by inhalation therapy. In mice, Nano-decoys remained in lungs for 72 hours after first dose and accelerated clearance of mimic virus.

What are Nano-decoys?

Nano-decoys are cell ghosts. One LSC can generate about 11,000 Nano-decoys. When these Nano-decoys are deployed, they exponentially increase surface area of fake binding sites to trap the virus.

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