Ebola drug effective against key enzyme of coronavirus that causes COVID-19

Ebola drug effective against key enzyme of coronavirus that causes COVID-19

Novel coronavirus attacks and destroys T cells, just like HIV "We've got to be patient and wait for the results of the randomized clinical trials," said Götte, whose research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Alberta's Major Innovation Fund and Gilead Sciences, which manufactures remdesivir. The Götte lab previously worked on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HCV, but a couple of years ago switched to focus on viruses with the highest epidemic potential. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued its list of the top pathogens likely to cause severe outbreaks, including Ebola, Lassa and coronaviruses , in 2015. "In that sense we were prepared because my lab specializes in viral polymerases," said Götte, adding that his next step will be to use his lab's tools to evaluate other promising antivirals. He is optimistic that the unprecedented amount of research going on worldwide and the high level of co-operation between researchers will lead to the discovery of one or more effective treatments for COVID-19. "We are desperate, but we still have to keep the bar high for anything that we put into clinical trials," he said. Remdesivir is one of several drugs being fast-tracked into trials by the World Health Organization, comparing potential treatments in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a dozen countries, including Canada. Götte said we can expect results from important clinical trials as early as April or May. Götte said it is disappointing that antivirals discovered at the time of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003--which might have been effective against COVID-19 too--were never translated into widely available treatments, largely because of the huge cost involved in developing new drugs. "This time around it's obvious that we have to cross the finish line," he said. "Ten billion dollars, it seems a lot, a huge amount," Götte said. "But in the context of this pandemic and the costs associated with this pandemic, it's nothing." Source: University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry Journal reference: Gordon, C.J., et al. (2020) Remdesivir is a direct-acting antiviral that inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 with high potency. Journal of Biological Chemistry . doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.013679 .



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