Researchers in California say they have formulated a nasal spray that may fend off COVID-19.

Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, are now working to start human trials on what they have called “AeroNabs.”

“This is a molecule that would bind to the coronavirus protein incredibly tightly and when it binds to the virus it completely diffuses its ability to infect human cells,” Aashish Manglik, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF, told Yahoo! News Thursday.

“I’d like to think of it as a molecular mouse trap. It clamps on the virus, prevents it from ever letting it go. Essentially that’s what this is,” he added.

The goal is to deliver the nanobody via inhaled sprays to the nose or lungs, allowing it to be self-administered.

“Every day, 5,000 people die of this disease. We’d like as soon and as fast as possible to find a partner to make this,” said Peter Walter, a veteran biochemist who co-led the project with Manglik.

The U.S. on Wednesday reported the most coronavirus deaths in one day since May, pushing the nation’s total above 166,000 according to John Hopkins data. More than 5.2 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the U.S.Related Stories: