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Researchers identified New potential treatment for Covid-19

by Pragati Singh

During a recent study, researchers discovered a potential new treatment that inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

All viruses, including coronaviruses, infect cells and reprogramme them to produce new viruses in order to multiply. The scientific journal Metabolite published the study titled ‘Targeting the pentose phosphate pathway for SARS-CoV-2 therapy.’

Cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 can only produce novel coronaviruses when their metabolic pentose phosphate pathway is activated, according to the findings.

SARS-CoV-2 replication was suppressed and infected cells did not produce coronaviruses when the drug benfooxythiamine, an inhibitor of this pathway, was used.

The research from the University of Kent’s School of Biosciences and the Institute of Medical Virology at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, found the drug also increased the antiviral activity of ‘2-deoxy-D-glucose’; a drug which modifies the host cell’s metabolism to reduce virus multiplication.

This shows that pentose phosphate pathway inhibitors like benfooxythiamine are a potential new treatment option for Covid-19, both on their own and in combination with other treatments.

Additionally, Benfooxythiamin’s antiviral mechanism differs from that of other Covid-19 drugs such as remdesivir and molnupiravir. Therefore, viruses resistant to these may be sensitive to benfooxythiamin.

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

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



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