The latest study published in the journal Science provides critical information about eight drug development against future coronavirus pandemics. Scientists have identified essential targets for drugs that can treat the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 and also help tackle future coronavirus pandemics.
The researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg school of medicine in the US noted that scientists should prepare for a possible next coronavirus pandemic.
The team previously mapped the structure of a virus protein called NSP 16, present in all coronaviruses. The latest study published in the journal Science provides critical information about drug development against the future of coronavirus.
There is a great need for new approaches to drug discovery to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and infections from future coronaviruses. the idea behind the future drug would be that it works early in the condition if somebody around you gets coronavirus, you would run two drug stores to get your medication and take it for three or four days if you were sick, you wouldn’t get sick
The researchers map three new protein structures in three-dimension views and discovered a secret identifier in the machinery that helps a virus hide from the immune system. They found a coronavirus specific pocket in protein NSP 16 that binds the virus fragment held in a place of the metal ion.
The fragment is used by coronavirus as the template for all the viral building blocks. There is potential to make a drug to fit this unique pocket that would block the function of this protein from the coronavirus researchers said
It could not block the function of the similar protein from human cells that lack the pocket. However, they said adding such a drug targeting the invader protein NSP 16 is considered one of the essential viral proteins that drugs could inhibit to stop the virus shortly after a person gets infected.
The goal, researchers said, is to stop the virus early before people get too sick. The team worked to generate critical information about this protein and collaborate with chemists who will use the information to design drugs against the protein. The researchers also noted that while some coronavirus proteins vary a lot, nsp16 is nearly the same across most of them.
The team discovers the unique idea is present in all the different coronavirus members. According to the researchers, this means that drugs designed to fit this should work against all coronavirus, including a virus that emerges in the future.
It should also work against the common cold caused by corona cold caused by a coronavirus. The researchers envision any drug developed based on the team’s finding of the coronavirus pocket would be part of a treatment cocktail taken by patients early in the course of the disease.