Perspective: the nose and the stomach play a critical role in the NZACE2-Pātari* (modified ACE2) drug treatment project of SARS-CoV-2 infection

Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2021 Jun;17(6):553-560. doi: 10.1080/1744666X.2021.1912596. Epub 2021 May 14.


Background: COVID-19 has caused calamitous health, economic and societal consequences globally. Currently, there is no effective treatment for the infection. Areas covered: We have recently described the NZACE2-Pātari project, which seeks to administer modified Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) molecules early in the infection to intercept and block SARS-CoV-2 binding to the pulmonary epithelium. Expert opinion: Since the nasopharyngeal mucosa is infected in the first asymptomatic phase of the infection, treatment of the nose is likely to be safe and potentially effective. The intercepted virus will be swallowed and destroyed in the stomach. There is however a limited window of opportunity to alter the trajectory of the infection in an individual patient, which requires access to rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2. The proposed strategy is analogous to passive immunization of viral infections such as measles and may be of particular benefit to immunodeficient and unvaccinated individuals.

Keywords: COVID-19; nasal therapy; nzace2-pātari; sars-cov-2.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 / drug therapy*
  • COVID-19 / enzymology
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Nasopharynx / virology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity
  • Stomach / virology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment

Grant support

This paper was not funded