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Potential new treatment for COVID-19 identified

Researchers have identified a potential new treatment that suppresses the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

In order to multiply, all viruses, including coronaviruses, infect cells and re-programme them to produce novel viruses. The research revealed that cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 can only produce novel coronaviruses when their metabolic pentose phosphate pathway is activated.

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

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."

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

The study ‘Targeting the pentose phosphate pathway for SARS-CoV-2 therapy’ is published by the scientific journal Metabolites (Professor Martin Michaelis – University of Kent; Dr Denisa Bojkova, Philipp Reus, Marco Bechtel, Professor Sandra Ciesek, Professor Jindrich Cinatl - Goethe University Frankfurt; Dr Rui Costa - University of Copenhagen; Mark-Christian Jaboreck, Dr Ruth Olmer, Professor Ulrich Martin – Hannover Medical School).

Visit: https://www.mdpi.com/2218-1989/11/10/699

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Upcoming Events

AfPP Annual Conference 2022

University of York
8-11 September 2022

Infection 360: What's trending in infection prevention & control

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
27-28 September 2022

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

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17-19 October 2022

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3rd November 2022

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Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

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