Experimental drug ‘CROWNase’ could treat COVID-19 through an inhaler

Coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An inhaler to protect you from COVID-19 — if the virus enters your body through your nose or eyes, could a vapor protect you?

One of the things we have learned about the virus is it works its way through the nasal passages to the lungs.

The earliest point of entry is also a possible passageway for the experimental drug called “CROWNase.”

Researchers in Chicago are using a human enzyme to inactivate the virus.

The drug is a mixture of two different proteins — one strips the spike of its protective coating — leaving it exposed to the immune system. The other — an ACE2 receptor — helps the drug bind to the virus.

“So, the basic idea is if we were to inactivate the spike protein, we can stop the infection of the virus,” said Oscar Juarez, ITT Associate of Biology. “We are designing this treatment to be stable in aerosols, so it can be delivered to patients through inhalers.”

CROWNase can be prophylactic — inhaled, injected or swallowed.

Animal and ultimately human trials are the next steps. 

Experts want to remind us — we’ve have had in recent years three different outbreaks of coronavirus, SARS, MERS, and now, COVID-19. 

We were not prepared for any of these diseases, so researchers hope studies like this will better prepare us for the future.

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