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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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