Columbia University researchers have developed a nasal spray that has successfully prevented COVID-19 infections in tests with ferrets as well as a 3D model of human lungs.
The lipopeptide (that is, a lipid and peptide combination) prevents the coronavirus from fusing with a target cell’s membrane by blocking a key protein from adopting a necessary shape. It should work immediately and last for at least 24 hours. It’s also affordable, lasts a long time, and doesn’t need refrigeration.
A spray like this is still some ways from reaching the public. There would need to be human clinical trials, not to mention large-scale production to provide enough access. Scientists are planning to “rapidly advance” to further testing, Columbia said.