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COVID-19: Newly identified post-infection treatment increases survival chances

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COVID-19: Newly identified post-infection treatment increases survival chances
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Washington: A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proposes a post-infection treatment for SARS-CoV-2, causative of Covid-19. Scientists successfully demonstrated the efficacy of treating SARS-CoV-2 infected animals with an inhibitor of protease enzymes to stop viral reproduction in mice. The treatment significantly increased survival and decreased lung viral quantity.

These protease inhibitors are a class of antiviral drugs that selectively binds to viral enzymes and blocks the activation of proteins necessary for infectious viral particle production, thereby preventing viral reproduction.

"We developed the protease inhibitor GC376 for treating a fatal coronavirus infection in cats, which is now under commercial development as an investigational new animal drug," said Yunjeong Kim, associate professor at Kansas State University, US.

"After COVID-19 emerged, many research groups reported that this inhibitor is also effective against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and many are currently pursuing the development of protease inhibitors as a treatment," Yunjeong Kim added.

The research time modified GC376 using a tool called deuteration to test its efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. Initiating treatment with deuterated variants 24 hours post-infection, increased the survival of mice as compared to untreated mice, suggesting that deuterated variants have excellent potential as antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2.

"Treating SARS-CoV-2-infected mice with deuterated GC376 significantly improved survival, viral replication in lungs, and weight losses, which shows the efficacy of the antiviral compound," said Kyeong-Ok Chang, professor at Kansas State University.

"The results suggest deuterated GC376 has a potential for further development, and this deuteration method can be utilised to other antiviral compounds to generate potent inhibitors," Kyeong-Ok Chang added.

Deuterated GC376 is now being evaluated for further potential development. Virologists, meanwhile, continue to develop improved inhibitors using various methods.

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TAGS:Covid Updates Science Updates 
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