Science and the Coronavirus: The race for a cure
A study has identified the crystal structure of a key coronavirus antibody; and an FDA approved drug is showing antiviral properties against COVID-19.
The pharmaceutical world is racing towards finding a treatment or a cure for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
SARS-CoV-2, is a single stranded positive sense RNA virus that is closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
Research around SARS-CoV-2 so far has centered on determining the structure of the coronavirus itself, as well as its antibodies.
This week, a team of researchers were able to determine the crystal structure of CR3022, a neutralizing antibody isolated from a recovered COVID-19 patient. Overall, this study provides molecular insights into antibody recognition of SARS-CoV-2. This could lead to the recognition of potential antibodies against the coronavirus.
Although several clinical trials are now underway to test possible treatment, the worldwide response has been focussed on monitoring and containment.
Now, an FDA approved antiviral drug has been discovered to show the ability to be an effective antiviral against the replication of SARS-CoV2. The fact that it is FDA approved allows this drug to be fast tracked through clinical trials, allowing for faster implementation in humans.