Inhalable Nanobody (PiN-21) prevents and treats SARS-CoV-2 infections in Syrian hamsters at ultra-low doses.bioRxiv. 2021 Feb 23B
Globally there is an urgency to develop effective, low-cost therapeutic interventions for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We previously generated the stable and ultrapotent homotrimeric Pittsburgh inhalable Nanobody 21 (PiN-21). Using Syrian hamsters that model moderate to severe COVID-19 disease, we demonstrate the high efficacy of PiN-21 to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. Intranasal delivery of PiN-21 at 0.6 mg/kg protects infected animals from weight loss and substantially reduces viral burdens in both lower and upper airways compared to control. Aerosol delivery of PiN-21 facilitates deposition throughout the respiratory tract and dose minimization to 0.2 mg/kg. Inhalation treatment quickly reverses animals' weight loss post-infection and decreases lung viral titers by 6 logs leading to drastically mitigated lung pathology and prevents viral pneumonia. Combined with the marked stability and low production cost, this novel therapy may provide a convenient and cost-effective option to mitigate the ongoing pandemic.