A recent Interesting Engineering article discussed a new method for curing and preventing coronavirus: inhalable nanobodies. Though the concept hasn’t been tested in humans yet, trials on Syrian hamsters were extremely promising. The therapy is called the Pittsburgh inhalable Nanobody 21 (aka PiN-21), and it offers a needleless alternative to the monoclonal antibodies that are typically used to treat early infections.
The new nanobody-based substance is inhaled like a vapor, but can work regardless of its entry point to the respiratory system. It employs single-domain antibody fragments, which are cheaper to produce than traditional monoclonal antibodies. The treatment can also be aerosolized to create a whole-body exposure, which would enable rapid inoculation of populations to protect against COVID-19 coronavirus and its variants.