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Intranasal fusion inhibitory lipopeptide prevents direct contact SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets

By Rory D. de Vries, Katharina S. Schmitz, Francesca T. Bovier, Danny Noack, Bart L. Haagmans, Sudipta Biswas, Barry Rockx, Samuel H. Gellman, Christopher A. Alabi, Rik L. de Swart, ANNE MOSCONA, Matteo Porotto

Posted 05 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.04.361154

Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires reducing viral transmission. SARS-CoV-2 infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed a dimeric lipopeptide fusion inhibitor that blocks this critical first step of infection for emerging coronaviruses and document that it completely prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection in ferrets. Daily intranasal administration to ferrets completely prevented SARS-CoV-2 direct-contact transmission during 24-hour co-housing with infected animals, under stringent conditions that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are highly stable and non-toxic and thus readily translate into a safe and effective intranasal prophylactic approach to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. ### Competing Interest Statement RDdV, FTB, RLdS, AM and MP are listed as inventors on a provisional patent application covering findings reported in this manuscript.

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