Home Health A scientist is using AI to design a nasal spray that could protect us from the flu, COVID, and colds

A scientist is using AI to design a nasal spray that could protect us from the flu, COVID, and colds

by News Desk
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David Baker runs the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington.Ian C Haydon/UW Institute for Protein Design

  • A researcher is developing a nasal spray with custom proteins that could protect against COVID-19.

  • David Baker believes it’s possible to create a similar spray that protects against even more viruses.

  • But it will be a while before that nasal spray cocktail is available.

A prominent researcher has designed a nasal spray in hopes of protecting people from illness caused by COVID-19. For him, this is an early step towards his ultimate goal of creating a virus-fighting cocktail that could work against several common infections.

Spray was developed by David Baker. Institute of Protein Design, University of Washingtonintended to initially block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells and activating the immune system.

Baker’s lab plans to begin early human testing of the nasal spray later this year to confirm its safety and test its efficacy. Promising results in mice.

If it works, Baker wants to take the idea one step further.What if a nasal spray could protect not only from COVID-19, but also the flu and colds? We believe a cocktail of proteins delivered to the nose can provide meaningful protection against the most common respiratory viruses.

Baker’s lab spins out Eight companies in the Seattle area, including mono bio When A-alpha bio. baker won Life Science Breakthrough Award In 2021, he was recognized for his work on protein design.

Wearing an eggplant puffer coat and a cloth mask with a cat's face, a researcher works in a laboratory at the Institute for Protein Design.

Researcher at Protein Design University.Ian C Haydon/UW Institute for Protein Design

To clarify, Baker’s sprays are different from vaccines. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to recognize and fight off invading pathogens.For bakers spray engineered protein It attaches to the parts that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to enter human cells, rendering them inactive.

A spray needs to prove itself in several back-to-back large-scale clinical trials before it becomes more widely available, a process that typically takes years. , said Baker, a viable business model for this type of therapy does not yet exist. This is another hurdle that must be overcome.

Baker and his lab are also working on sprays for influenza, MERS, and RSV, Baker told Insider. He said the experiment had not yet been scheduled.

Using AI, his ultimate goal is to create a protein-filled nasal spray that can block various viruses.

Baker said researchers can ask AI engines questions and compared it to AI engines. image generator DALL-E, Spitting protein designs that can combat rhinovirus, MERS, SARS-CoV-2, and influenza. The protein can then be manufactured and put into nasal sprays.

completely New proteins designed with AI In theory, it could be written to address a very specific problem. For example, it can get stuck in the right part of the virus and block it from gaining footholds in human cells.

Engineered proteins are more stable than naturally occurring proteins, says Baker, so they won’t be broken down before they reach your nose. , which allows you to pack different types of protein into your spray.

It’s probably going to take a while to say goodbye to winter smells. But the next time you catch a cold, take some comfort in knowing that this isn’t always the case.

Read the original article at business insider

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