Activity of a Carbohydrate-Binding Module Therapy, Neumifil, against SARS-CoV-2 Disease in a Hamster Model of Infection

Rachel Fell, Jane A. Potter, Samantha Yuille, Franscisco J. Salguero, Robert Watson, Didier Ngabo, Karen Gooch, Roger Hewson, David Howat, Stuart Dowall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The rapid global spread of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in an urgent effort to find efficacious therapeutics. Broad-spectrum therapies which could be used for other respiratory pathogens confer advantages, as do those based on targeting host cells that are not prone to the development of resistance by the pathogen. We tested an intranasally delivered carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) therapy, termed Neumifil, which is based on a CBM that has previously been shown to offer protection against the influenza virus through the binding of sialic acid receptors. Using the recognised hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we demonstrate that Neumifil significantly reduces clinical disease severity and pathological changes in the nasal cavity. Furthermore, we demonstrate Neumifil binding to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. This is the first report describing the testing of this type of broad-spectrum antiviral therapy in vivo and provides evidence for the advancement of Neumifil in further preclinical and clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number976
JournalViruses
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was funded jointly by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovate (UKRI) through the COVID-19 Rapid Response Call for a project on ‘Development of a natural transmission model of COVID-19’ (Ref MR/V036963/1).

Neumifil is trademarked by Pneumagen Ltd. J.A.P., S.Y. and D.H. are employees
of Pneumagen Ltd. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.

Open Access: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Publisher Copyright:© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Citation: Fell, R.; Potter, J.A.; Yuille, S.; Salguero, F.J.;Watson, R.; Ngabo, D.; Gooch, K.; Hewson, R.; Howat, D.; Dowall, S. Activity of a Carbohydrate-Binding Module
Therapy, Neumifil, against SARS-CoV-2 Disease in a Hamster Model of Infection. Viruses 2022, 14, 976.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050976

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • host targeted
  • therapy

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