Development of aerosolized encapsulated recombinant ACE2 for treating COVID‑19 early symptom patients
COVID‑19 has generated a global pandemic due to lack of effective vaccine and reliable clinically tested treatments. With more than 5 million people infected globally, the number of deaths surpassed 325 thousand globally, and 6 thousand in Canada by mid-May 2020, and is expected to increase. Most global medical research efforts are currently focused on the creation of a vaccine, expected to be available in at least 12 months. Attention has also been dedicated to the treatment of intensive care unit (ICU) patients with lung tissue damage. However, infected people who are starting to show typical initial symptoms, are being overlooked in both global and Canadian efforts. Large parts of the world are unable to provide adequate testing for the public at large due to a shortage of tests or components thereof. Without adequate and timely treatment, these patients eventually evolve into ICU patients, potentially overwhelming our healthcare system. The possibility of containment of the virus reproduction rate in patients experiencing typical early symptoms is the main inspiration behind this proposal.
The team of experts from the University of British Columbia (across Faculties of Land & Food Systems, Science, Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Medicine), the St. Paul’s Sinus Centre (Center of Heart and Lung Innovation), BC, and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research (University of Sydney), Australia, in partnership with equipment manufacturer Enwave Inc., BC, proposes to develop a breathable decoy: inhalable microparticles using encapsulated recombinant Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2) that binds to the virus-receptors. These microparticles will be designed to be released inside the respiratory tract of early symptoms patients, via inhalers, to bind to the virus surface before the virus reaches the target. Our solution does not aim to be a vaccine for Covid-19, rather aims to exploit the virus-receptor affinity to create a solution to treat the symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection.