University of Helsinki researchers have introduced a groundbreaking molecule, TriSb92, administered nasally, proving effective against diseases caused by all known SARS-CoV-2 variants. This molecule is poised to be a vital tool in halting the transmission and spread of the virus, particularly in anticipation of future pandemics.

In laboratory animal studies, TriSb92 demonstrated robust protection against coronavirus infection by targeting a region in the spike protein common to all current variants, inhibiting its functionality. Administered nasally, the molecule effectively prevents infection even after a few hours of exposure, distinguishing itself from face masks. Postdoctoral Researcher Anna R. Mäkelä from Professor Kalle Saksela’s research group notes that TriSb92 also includes protection against the latest variants, such as XBB, BF7, and BQ.1.1.

Crucially, TriSb92 remains fully functional at room temperature for at least 18 months, making it an ideal candidate for use as a nasal spray. While the worst stage of the pandemic may be behind us, nasally administered protection could prove pivotal in future virus containment.

With the emergence of variants that evade vaccine protection, the nasal spray becomes crucial for those not obtaining sufficient immunity from vaccines, including immunocompromised individuals and the elderly. Researchers suggest its potential effectiveness against future animal-borne relatives of SARS-CoV-2, anticipating entirely new coronavirus pandemics.

The region in the coronavirus’s spike protein targeted by TriSb92 has remained consistent across viral variants, ensuring efficacy against future SARS-CoV-2 strains. Moreover, the molecule is easily and inexpensively produced, offering a crucial first line of defense against new pandemics before vaccines are developed, produced, and distributed.

Using sherpabody technology, the researchers highlight the applicability of this approach to prevent various viral diseases, particularly influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Moving forward, the molecule will undergo clinical trials before potential commercial availability. Successful commercialization could pave the way for a thriving Finnish business, marking a significant stride in antiviral development.

By Impact Lab