Scientists From Frankfurt Announced A Breakthrough In The Search For A Cure Against COVID-19

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Scientists From Frankfurt Announced A Breakthrough In The Search For A Cure Against COVID-19
Scientists From Frankfurt Announced A Breakthrough In The Search For A Cure Against COVID-19

Video: Scientists From Frankfurt Announced A Breakthrough In The Search For A Cure Against COVID-19

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Scientists from Frankfurt announced a breakthrough in the search for a cure against COVID-19

US and Canadian pharmaceutical companies have already adopted the results of the new study.

Scientists from Frankfurt announced a breakthrough in the search for a cure against COVID-19
Scientists from Frankfurt announced a breakthrough in the search for a cure against COVID-19

Photo: pixabay.com

A team of biochemists and virologists from Goethe University and Frankfurt University Hospital has found out how human cells change under the influence of SARS-CoV-2. The researchers studied a number of compounds in laboratory models and found that some of them can slow down or block viral replication. This discovery will narrow the search for an active substance to a small number of already approved drugs. The scientists published the results of their work in the journal Nature.

In early February, a team of virologists at the University of Frankfurt, led by Professor Sandra Ciesek, managed to cultivate the virus in rectal cells from swabs taken from patients returning from Wuhan. Using the unique mePROD method, developed by the Institute for Biochemistry II at Goethe University, scientists have studied the mechanism of changes in human cells under the influence of infection. This method allows you to determine the amount and rate of protein synthesis in the cell.

The researchers got a complete picture of the progression of SARS-CoV-2 in the human body and made an interesting discovery: while many infections stop making the host protein in favor of viral proteins, the coronavirus only slightly affects the production of protein in human cells. The researchers suspected that this was the "weak point" of the coronavirus, and with the help of so-called translation inhibitors, which stop the production of protein, they were able to reduce the reproduction of the infection. Scientists have obtained a similar result using an active substance that inhibits the production of building blocks for the viral genome.

The discovery of Frankfurt research was immediately adopted by several pharmaceutical companies. Thus, among the substances that stopped the multiplication of the virus in the cell culture system was 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), which directly affects the metabolism of carbohydrates, which is necessary for the reproduction of the virus. The American pharmaceutical company Moleculin Biotech has a substance similar to 2-DG at its disposal and is now preparing a clinical trial with it.

At the same time, the Canadian pharmaceutical company Bausch Health Americas begins clinical trials of the drug ribavirin, which scientists from Frankfurt also used in their study. The tests will be attended by 50 volunteers.

According to Jindrich Cinatl, professor at the Institute of Medical Virology and one of the lead authors of the study, the study opens up new opportunities for the use of drugs already approved to fight the coronavirus, and this is its huge advantage.

“These substances are already well characterized and we know how patients tolerate them. In the race against time, our work can make an important contribution to the fight against the pandemic,”said the scientist.

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