SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A small San Diego biotech is trying to give face masks an added layer of defense by spraying the liner with a biological bait designed to be a mousetrap for the coronavirus.
AXIM Biotechnologies is also developing a next-generation rapid antibody test that the company says is the first of its kind to detect “neutralizing antibodies.” The neutralizing antibody test should be available for sale in the next few weeks, said CEO John Huemoeller.
Both the test and the surgical mask are based on the same technology: a synthetic protein AXIM created that mimics ACE2.
ACE2 is a receptor protein found in your body on the surface of cells. The coronavirus likes to bind to it to infiltrate cells, so the company decided to coat the inner lining of a surgical mask with the protein as an added barrier.
“They lock to each other just like they do in your body. They lock on the mask. So when we spray the mask with that virus-binding protein, it’s there permanently. It can be washed. It’s not coming off,” Huemoeller said.
“That’s the whole idea is to get [the virus] to bind to something, so it cannot go into your respiratory system,” he added.