Engineered extracellular vesicles directed to the spike protein inhibit SARS-CoV-2


SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2) viral infection results in COVID-19 disease, which has caused significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. A vaccine is crucial to curtail the spread of SARS-CoV-2, while therapeutics will be required to treat ongoing and reemerging infections of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease. There are currently no commercially available effective anti-viral therapies for COVID-19, urging the development of novel modalities.

Researchers at the Center for Gene Therapy, City of Hope describe a molecular therapy specifically targeted to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, which consists of extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing a novel fusion tetraspanin protein, CD63, embedded within an anti-CoV-2 nanobody. These anti-CoV-2-enriched EVs bind SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at the receptor-binding domain (RBD) site and can functionally neutralize SARS-CoV-2. This work demonstrates an innovative EV-targeting platform that can be employed to target and inhibit the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Scott TA, Supramaniam A, Idris A, Cardoso AA, Shrivastava S, Kelly G, Grepo NA, Soemardy C, Ray RM, McMillan NAJ, Morris KV. (2022) Engineered extracellular vesicles directed to the spike protein inhibit SARS-CoV-2. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 24:355-366. [article]

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