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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

Arab Health 2022

Dubai World Trade Centre
24th - 27th January

Knowlex Infection Prevention & Control 2022

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
8th - 9th February

Central Sterilising Club 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YR
4th - 5th April

iM Med Decontamination Academy Spring Conference

Royal College of Physicians, London
11th May 2022

NPAG Theatres and Decontamination Conference

Coventry Building Society Arena
19th May 2022

EBME Expo 2022

Coventry Building Society Arena, Phoenix Way, Rowleys Green, Coventry CV6 6GE
28th - 29th June

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

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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