Studies show a trial drug as a promising candidate for the race against COVID-19

Lab studies have found a trial drug to block the cellular door SARS-CoV-2 that uses to infect the host, a novel finding which may provide a potential treatment for the novel virus.

Scientists from a lab at the University of British Columbia Cannada, have found a trial drug to block the gateway the virus uses to infect host cells. If there is a possibility of shutting the doorway, the trial drug can be used as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The study has also provided ith much-needed insights into how the virus works on a cellular level and how it can infect the host body.

“We are hopeful our results have implications for the development of a novel drug for the treatment of this unprecedented pandemic,” said Josef Penninger, from the University.

The lab has found that ACE2- a protein on the surface is in the center and responsible for the disease. In earlier work, Penninger and colleagues at the University of Toronto, found that ACE2 was also the key receptor in SARS, a similar pandemic back in 2003. The absence of an approved anti-viral therapy with respect to receptor ACE2 has led to healthcare providers struggling to treat cases of COVID-19.

“Our new study provides very much needed direct evidence that a drug — called APN01 (human recombinant soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 — hrsACE2) — soon to be tested in clinical trials by the European biotech company Apeiron Biologics, is useful as an antiviral therapy for Covid-19,” said Art Slutsky, a professor at the University of Toronto.

In labs, when hrACE2 was tested in cell culture, it was found that they inhibited the development of CVOID-19 by inhibiting gateways allowing the virus to affect the host cell. It was also found that clinical-grade, hrACE2 also reduced the effect of SARS-COV2 infection in human organoids from human stem cells.

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