Publication of Cellular Nanosponges Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity in Nano Letters

Publication of Cellular Nanosponges Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity in Nano Letters

June 17 2020:  Cellics Therapeutics, Inc. (Cellics) announced today that results of the study that evaluates the potential benefits of macrophage and pulmonary epithelial nanosponges in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity have been published in Nano Letters, entitled Cellular Nanosponges Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity, based on research conducted by its founder, Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D.

As new information about COVID-19 continues to emerge almost on a daily basis, the virus has already demonstrated its ability to mutate and became more infectious, raising doubts about the viability of an effective vaccine and potential future therapies.  A therapy that is agnostic to future mutations and has the potential to address future novel viral pandemics is extremely attractive.  Treatments that target the affected host cell rather than the infectious agent may offer an opportunity to address future mutations and novel viral outbreaks.

The published study was initiated to evaluate the potential of nanosponges derived from human cells as a therapeutic for the treatment of COVID-19.  The study was a collaborative effort between the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the Department of Microbiology and National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Nanosponges derived from macrophages and human pulmonary epithelial cells were tested as it is understood that SARS-CoV-2 enters the cells via known receptors (ACE-2 and CD147) and maybe other unknown receptors. Macrophage and pulmonary epithelial nanosponges were incubated with SARS-CoV-2 infected cells to assess if nanosponges are able to neutralize live SARS-CoV-2 virus.  Both macrophage and pulmonary epithelial cell nanosponges demonstrated significant neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity after two hours of incubation in a concentration dependent manner.

“This data represents a validation of the nanosponge platform and our approach of identifying the affected host cell to develop nanosponges as a therapy,” said Steve Chen, MD, President and Chief Medical Officer, Cellics Therapeutics. “The nanosponge technology allows the therapy to be mutation and virulence factor agnostic, making it a potential universal anti-viral agent for future viral outbreaks.  Previous work has shown that macrophage nanosponges neutralized inflammatory cytokines, which are involved in the cytokine storms described in COVID-19 patients.  We are particularly excited with the macrophage nanosponges data as a potential therapy to neutralize both the viral activity and the downstream complications associated with COVID-19.  We look forward to further validation studies and mapping out a potential path forward to deliver this promising therapy to patients.”

Cellics holds exclusive global rights for the development and commercialization of red blood cell and white blood cell nanosponges, including macrophage nanosponges for treatment of various diseases from the University of California, San Diego.  Currently, Cellics is developing macrophage nanosponges for the treatment of sepsis.

Via Press Release

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