OSU researcher discovers possible universal treatment for COVID-19

A study led by an associate professor in OSU’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has found a new way to treat COVID-19.

PORTLAND, Oregon – Building on years of pre-pandemic research, medicine and technology have advanced under the pressure of COVID-19. Now, new research from Oregon State University could be a ‘universal’ way to treat the virus – while helping to fight other illnesses.

“This is a transformative time,” said Gaurav Sahay, an associate professor in OSU’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Even though COVID has been a terrible time, what’s its trail is these new technologies.”

“We were in a Renaissance period. I’ve been working with these technologies since 2014, but now we’re in an industrial revolution because billions can be made.”

According to OSU, Sahay and his collaborators at OSU and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have demonstrated in a mouse model that it is possible to trigger the production of a protein capable of preventing several variants of the SARS-CoV virus. -2 to enter cells and cause respiratory diseases. .

The work of his team is twofold.

First, they found a way to block multiple variants of COVID. It works by introducing so-called “decoy” enzymes into the body that bind to the coronavirus’ spike proteins and prevent the virus from latching onto healthy cells in the lungs.

Second, they have transformed the way they deliver this nanotechnology.

“The way to deliver this mRNA technology is to encapsulate them in a packaging medium called a lipid nanoparticle. Usually they’re delivered intramuscularly…but these can be aerosolized so you can deliver them intramuscularly. nasally or through nebulization,” Sahay explained.

These findings were published in Advanced Science. Sahay said we may be a long way from the treatment available to human patients, although results from animal models are promising.

“Based on animal models, we’ve seen that these proteins start forming after an injection in about two hours. That’s quite fast,” Sahay said.

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