New drug may be powerful against coronavirus


The chemical compound plitidepsin (trademarked name Aplidin) was first extracted from a marine organism known as Aplidium albicans, commonly known as sea squares. Researchers recently published Science Results of preclinical experiments using plitidepsin to treat human and mouse cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. They found evidence that it is possible that this drug could be used as a therapy for COVID-19.

The drug has been used in the past and was approved in Australia as a treatment for a type of cancer known as multiple myeloma. But because many potential pharmaceutical compounds exist, researchers can investigate them for other uses and in this case coronovirus.

“The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has created an urgent need for antiviral therapies that can be transferred immediately to the clinic. According to a press release, it is said that we are screened for medically approved drugs with established safety profiles, “Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Professor of Microbiology and Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute of Mountain Lican Director of the School of Medicine. Garcia-Sastre is one of the leading researchers in the science paper.


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Researchers focused on how the virus uses human cells to survive and reproduce. “That research led us to a biologic pathway, the eukaryotic translation machinery, where the inhibition of the pathway led to significant antiviral activity in cell culture,” says Nevan Krogan, director of UC San Francisco’s Quantitative Bioscience Institute and one of the study’s lead researchers. Visible. “


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When he tested platidepsin in his experiments, he found that it was effective in human and mouse cell lines. “Plitidepsin is an extremely potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2, but its most important strength is that it targets a host protein rather than a viral protein,” said Chris White, assistant professor of microbiology at ISMMS and The first author is a science paper, in a press release. “This means that if platidepsin is successful in the treatment of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 will be unable to gain resistance against it through the virus mutation, a major one with the proliferation of new UK and South African variants Is a matter of concern. “

Although the drug will have to undergo more tests to see if it is effective against all variants, there is some promising evidence that it will still be a good treatment option. The group also tested the drug against the UK version and found it was effective, although that research has not yet been published and is available as a Preprint.

The next step for drug testing would be to undergo clinical trials if it is effective in treating people with an active SARS-CoV-2 infection. “We need some new weapons in the arsenal,” Krogan explains San francisco chronicle. “It’s the best thing we’ve seen so far.”

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, check the websites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention And this World Health Organization. For up-to-date global case counts, keep this page Johns Hopkins University or COVID Tracking Project.

You can follow Chia-Yi Ho on Twitter.


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