Dr. Henry Daniell and a team of researchers at Penn’s School of Dental Medicine have been testing a medically crafted chewing gum that could potentially reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic.
In test-tube experiments using saliva samples from COVID-19 patients, the virus particles attached themselves to the ACE2 “receptors” in the chewing gum and the viral load fell to undetectable levels, indicating that this technology could become a viable solution for reducing the spread of the virus.
Now, the researchers are preparing to launch the first human trial to further test the effectiveness of the gum. In the clinical trial, COVID-19 patients will each chew four ACE2 gum tablets each day for four days to see how the gum affects those who currently have the virus.
“The approach of making the proteins in plants and using them orally is inexpensive, hopefully scalable; it really is clever,” said Ron Collman, MD, professor of Medicine and Microbiology and a Pulmonary and Critical Care specialist.
Read the full New York Post article about the gum here and learn more about the clinical trial here.