Scientists identify molecules that can block coronavirus

Scientists have identified a set of small molecules that can block the activity of a key protein in SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, reports the Financial Express.

It is a finding that provides a promising path for new therapeutics for the disease. The team of researchers at the University of Georgia in the United States noted that the SARS-CoV-2 protein PLpro is essential for the replication and the ability of the virus to suppress host immune function. The compounds, naphthalene-based PLpro inhibitors, are shown to be effective at halting SARS-CoV-2 PLpro activity as well as replication, according to the research published in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases.

The researchers explored inhibitors designed to knock out PLpro and stop replication of the virus. “Obviously now we see the current coronavirus is probably going to be with us for a while – if not this one, then probably other types of coronaviruses,” said Scott Pegan, a professor at the university. “These compounds are a good starting point for therapeutic development. They have all the properties you would typically want to find in a drug, and they have a history of not being considered toxic,” he said.
Full report on the Financial Express site