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.