PANDEMIC REPORT: Changing COVID treatment | Other uses for RNA tech

Changing treatment for COVID patients

MADISON, WI—A new pharmaceutical therapy created by biotech Nano RED could change the way doctors treat patients with COVID. The therapy binds to surface proteins on lung cells that the virus typically latches onto. Then, when a viral particle comes across the lung cells, it finds all the binding sites taken.

Vaccination verification tech

MADISON, WI—Health care software company Epic has developed tech that serves as a digital vaccination verification by binding a person’s identity with vaccination or lab results and displaying this information via QR codes on a smartphone.

Other uses for RNA technology

PITTSBURGH, PA—The RNA technology that made the first vaccines possible may be used to battle other diseases. A lab at Carnegie Mellon University is making advances in the delivery of the same type of messenger RNA technology for breakthroughs in treatments for cancer, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.

Addressing a fear of needles

CHAPEL HILL, NC—A fear of needles underlies a lot of vaccine hesitation. With help from Stanford University, researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill are creating a self-administered vaccine that can be made using a 3D printer. The resulting “patch” is a block of micro-needles with a thin sugar film of vaccine on a polymer strip.