Chewing Gum Developed That Could Reduce COVID Transmission – Laced With Protein That

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Chewing Gum

A chewing gum laced with a plant-grown protein serves as a “trap” for the ACE2 Anti COVID Gum

In a measure of viral load using microbubbles, the chewing gum infused with the ACE2 protein triggered a reduction in the amount of virus in samples taken from COVID-19 patients. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers

Prior to the pandemic, Daniell had been studying the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein in the context of treating hypertension. His lab had grown this protein, as well as many others that may have therapeutic potential, using a patented plant-based production system. By bombarding plant material with the disrupt dental plaque. Pairing his insights about ACE2 with this technology, Daniell wondered if such a gum, infused with plant-grown ACE2 proteins, could neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in the oral cavity.

To find out, he reached out to Ronald Collman at Penn Medicine, a virologist and pulmonary and critical care doctor whose team, since the early stages of the pandemic, had been collecting blood, nasal swabs, saliva, and other biospecimens from COVID patients for scientific research.

ACE2 Infused Chewing Gum

Penn Dental Medicine’s Henry Daniell and colleagues used a plant-based protein drug production platform to grow the ACE2 protein, which was then infused in chewing gum. By either blocking the ACE2 receptor or binding to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the ACE2 in the gum appears to be able to reduce viral entry into cells. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers

“Henry contacted me and asked if we had samples to test his approach, what kind of samples would be appropriate to test, and whether we could internally validate the level of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the saliva samples,” Collman says. “That led to a cross-school collaboration building on our microbiome studies.”

To test the chewing gum, the team grew ACE2 in plants, paired with another compound that enables the protein to cross mucosal barriers and facilitates binding,…



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