SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is mainly transmitted through infective airborne droplets and tiny particles. So the respiratory airway, as the primary entry point of the virus, could be a good target for delivery of drugs aimed at protecting people against the disease. That’s the logic behind the development of a human monoclonal antibody by Eureka Therapeutics. Now, the company has reported promising results in mice. A single administration of Eureka’s drug into the nose protected mice against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus for at least 10 hours, even at the lowest concentrations tested, researchers from the company described in a paper on the preprint site bioRxiv.
The Bay Area biotech figures the nasal spray, now called InvisiMask, could work as a daily preventive measure against COVID-19, and it’s preparing a clinical trial application with the FDA. “We envision a daily nasal spray that functions like an invisible mask in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Eureka CEO Cheng Liu, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Using antibodies in a preventive nasal spray adds to the arsenal of tools that we have to fight the spread of COVID-19, and the concept can be applied to other airborne diseases. We are excited about the results and are working to advance the product for human use.”
As Pfizer’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Roll Across the U.S., Analysts Size up the Hurdles Ahead
After a “historically eventful” few days for COVID-19 vaccines—featuring key meetings at the FDA and CDC, plus an emergency authorization—a massive immunization program kicked off Monday morning. Vaccinations with Pfizer and BioNTech’s newly-minted shot started in the U.S. Monday— less than 11 months after the country’s first COVID-19 case. While it’s a historic moment, and the speed to market has been unprecedented, SVB Leerink analysts point out the hurdles still ahead.
Despite high efficacy figures for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in pivotal studies, there’s “still widespread hesitancy among the general public,” the analysts wrote. Only about 50% to 60% of the population plans to get the vaccine, surveys show. Even healthcare workers have their own reservations. Recent stories highlighting cases of anaphylaxis and Bell’s palsy after vaccination have intensified those concerns, the analysts wrote.