Home Covid News and Updates Scientists discover a new compound that may help to alleviate COVID-19 symptoms

Scientists discover a new compound that may help to alleviate COVID-19 symptoms

by Pragati Singh

In the laboratory and on animals, scientists discovered a compound that has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The researchers from the United States Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) investigated the virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which is caused by a coronavirus.

MERS is far less common than COVID-19, but far more lethal.

Tens of thousands of measurements of proteins, molecular messengers, and other signals that occur after infection were analysed in the study, which was published in the journal mBio.

The researchers identified a molecular process, part of the body’s quality-control machinery, that plays a critical role in coronavirus damage.

They then searched a vast database of compounds and identified one known as AMG PERK 44 that put a halt to virus reproduction in human tissue in the laboratory.

The team also found the compound has a strong effect in mice infected with the virus. The compound boosted lung function and reduced lung damage and weight loss in the mice, particularly in male mice, according to the researchers.

“Studies like this help us learn more about how deadly respiratory viruses operate, how they do what they do, why they attack certain parts of the lung and not others,” said virologist Amy Sims, one of two first coauthors of the paper from PNNL, along with Hugh Mitchell.

The scientists noted that it is far too soon to know whether the compound could help patients as it is not currently used as a drug. The results of the study are most useful as part of a broader effort to learn more about respiratory diseases, they added.

“Coronavirus infections cause complex disease phenotypes, and new strategies are needed to disentangle which host pathways are contributing to the development of severe, life-threatening outcomes,” Ralph Baric from UNC added.


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