Engineered decoys trap virus in test tube study; healthcare workers at high risk even with protections
By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Open https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and treatments in development.
Engineered decoys trap virus before it can enter cells
The new coronavirus enters cells by attaching to a protein on the cell membrane called the ACE2 receptor. Scientists have now developed a decoy version of ACE2 that lures the virus and traps it, preventing it from infecting human lung cells in test tubes. “We have engineered our ACE2 Trap to bind 100 to 1,000 times tighter to the virus than normal ACE2 that is on victim cells. This provides even more potent blockage that is comparable to neutralizing antibodies,” Dr. James Wells of the University of California