‘It’s a breakthrough’: Researchers identify potential new drug treatment for COVID-19, Science News

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Researchers at the University of Kent in the UK and Goethe University in Germany have found that they have identified a potential new drug treatment that suppresses the reproduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in infected cells, a virus which causes a deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).

The researchers said that in order to multiply, all viruses infect cells and reprogram them to produce new viruses. The study, published recently in the journal Metabolites titled “Targeting the Pentose Phosphate Pathway for SARS-CoV-2 Therapy”, shows that cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 can only produce new coronaviruses when a metabolic pathway called the pentose phosphate pathway is activated. .

According to the researchers, the drug benfooxythiamine (BOT), an inhibitor of this metabolic pathway, suppressed the reproduction of SARS-CoV-2 and the infected cells did not produce coronavirus.

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Part of the study said, “Notably, metabolic drugs like BOT and 2DG may also interfere with the immunopathology associated with COVID-19 by altering the metabolism of immune cells in addition to inhibiting SARS-CoV replication. -2. Therefore, they can improve COVID-19. -19 therapeutic results by exerting antiviral and immunomodulatory effects. “

This shows that inhibitors of the pentose phosphate pathway like benfooxythiamine are a potential new treatment option for COVID-19, both alone and in combination with other treatments.

In addition, the antiviral mechanism of benfooxythiamine differs from that of other COVID-19 drugs such as remdesivir and molnupiravir. Therefore, viruses resistant to the latter may be susceptible to benfooxythiamine.

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Professor Martin Michaelis, University of Kent, said: “This is a breakthrough in research into the treatment of Covid-19. Since the development of resistance is a big problem in the treatment of viral diseases, it is very important to have therapies that use different targets and the hope of developing the most effective treatments for Covid-19. “

Professor Jindrich Cinatl, Goethe-University Frankfurt, said: “Targeting virus-induced changes in host cell metabolism is an attractive way to specifically interfere with the virus replication process. ”


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