Scientists at the University of Alberta are planning to launch clinical trials of a drug used to cure coronavirus in cats. As such, researchers are hopeful that this may also be an effective treatment for COVID-19 in humans.
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"In just two months, our results have shown that the drug is effective at inhibiting viral replication in cells with SARS-CoV-2," said Joanne Lemieux, a professor of biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
"This drug is very likely to work in humans, so we're encouraged that it will be an effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19 patients."
The treatment involves a protease inhibitor that alters the ability of the virus to replicate and continue the infection. Findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
"There's a rule with COVID research that all results need to be made public immediately," Lemieux said, which is why they were posted before being peer-reviewed. We determined the three-dimensional shape of the protease with the drug in the active site pocket, showing the mechanism of inhibition. This will allow us to develop even more effective drugs.
“Typically for a drug to go into clinical trials, it has to be confirmed in the lab and then tested in animal models," Lemieux said.
Source: Science Daily