Newly published study from K-State virologist identifies potential COVID-19 treatments

Image: Yoonjong Kim, front, and Kyong-ok “Casey” Chang of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine have joined associates at Wichita State University, University of Iowa, and University of Kansas … See more

Sincerely: Kansas State University

MANHATTAN, KANSAS – Yunjong Kim and Kyong-ok “KC” Chang, virologists at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, have published a study showing a potential therapeutic treatment for COIDID-19.
Pathogenic coronaviruses are a major threat to global public health, as demonstrated by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus or SARS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, known as MERS-CoV; And the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2, virus that causes COVID-19 infection.
The August 3 issue of the prestigious medical journal stated, “Protein inhibitors such as 3C block coronovirus replication in vitro and improve survival in MERS-CoV-infected mice.” Science Translational Medicine. This suggests that small molecule protease inhibitors show potency against human coronaviruses. These coronovirus 3C-proteases, known as 3CorPro, are strong therapeutic targets because they play a critical role in coronovirus replication.
“The development and treatment of the vaccine are the biggest goals in the research of COVID-19 and treatment is really important,” said Chang, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. “This paper describes protease inhibitors targeting coronovirus 3CLpro, a well-known therapeutic target.”
Studies demonstrate that this series of optimized coronavirus 3CLpro inhibitors blocked the replication of human coronavirus MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in cultured cells and in mouse models for MERS. These findings suggest that this range of compounds should be further investigated as potential compounds for human coronovirus infection.
Chang and Kim are using the National Institutes of Health to develop antiviral drugs for the treatment of MERS and human norovirus infections. His work extends to other human viruses such as rhinoviruses and SARS-CoV-2.
“This group of workers has been working on antivirals and inhibitors for SARS and MERS at KR-STAT for many years, quickly emphasizing research on SARS-CoV-2 viruses and therapeutics for their ability to spindle.” Important for, ”Peter K., vice president of research at K-State. Dorhout said.
Co-collaborators on the research include Bill Groutus at Wichita State University, Stanley Pearlman at Leeds University, and Scott Lovell at the University of Kansas.
“Dr. Grouts, Perlman and Lovell brought decades of experience to our research team,” Chang said. “We will not be able to overcome this without significant collaboration with our partners in other institutions.”
“Publishing things right now is very important to the scientific community,” Kim said. “I think we are adding valuable information to the antiviral field.”


New compounds are being specifically licensed in the publication and are being developed for COVID-19 by Kokovid Pharma. K-State Innovation Partners handles commercial technology licensing for the university.

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