Therapeutics for COVID-19 patients
The invention concerns the use of DNA aptamers that can shield the SARS-CoV-2 binding site on the cell, and halt the cell-to-cell spreading of coronavirus. The novel oligonucleotide, and the anti-coronavirus strategy based on the protection of the target cell, are innovative technologies that could be developed into a novel COVID-19 therapy that is effective against variants of the virus.
The SARS-CoV-2 neutralising agents developed so far (vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, or small molecules) are directed against viral proteins: mutations occurring in such proteins can therefore give rise to treatment-resistant variants and prolong the pandemic. The current invention changes the paradigm by protecting the target cell instead of targeting the virus itself. We designed two aptamers that bind to the human receptor ACE2 and halt the interaction of the coronavirus with the cells preventing the cell-to-cell spreading of viral infection. Since SARS-CoV-2 and its mutant variants share the same infection mechanism, our aptamers might be developed as therapeutics against COVID19 due to SARS-CoV-2 variants that are resistant to current neutralising agents and against future infections by arising coronaviruses.
- Prevention or therapy of COVID-19;
- Prevention or therapy of SARS-CoV-2 mutant strains;
- Prophylaxis or antiviral therapy for novel SARS viruses;
- Prophylaxis or antiviral therapy of SARS infections in veterinary practice.
- Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection by the protection of the target cell: a new strategy compared to current antiviral approaches;
- As it acts on the cell and not on the virus itself, it can be effective against viral variants;
- Potentially effective against novel coronaviruses arising in the population since it blocks a common viral-entry path of SARS viruses;
- DNA aptamers show fewer side effects and less immunogenicity than antibodies or other polypeptides.