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New Innovative Method Tests Effectiveness of COVID-19 Drugs for Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 19 Aug 2021
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Scientists have proposed an innovative method for testing the effectiveness of COVID-19 medicines for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

According to the researchers at South Ural State University (SUSU; Chelyabinsk, Russia) who proposed the method, it is necessary to focus on the maximum coincidence of the ligand and the receptor. Despite the successful treatment regimens developed for coronavirus infection, the search for a cure for the disease continues. Currently, no drug can block the spread of the virus in the body, and scientists from across the world are working on solving this problem. Researchers at South Ural State University have also been looking for effective substances against coronavirus that may be contained in drugs presently being used in the treatment of other diseases.

In their most recent study, SUSU’s international team of scientists from India, South Africa and Brazil examined the complementarity of RNA polymerase in SARS-CoV-2 complexes with ligands. RNA polymerase is an enzyme that reproduces the genetic material of a virus. This is how the virus spreads throughout the body. It is assumed that drugs for coronavirus block RNA polymerase. Scientists have found that ligands (chemical compounds that possess pharmacological effects) must match the enzyme as much as possible in order for their action to be effective.

Scientists used the Protein Data Bank, a database of three-dimensional structures of proteins and polymeric acids, to obtain the structure of RNA polymerase. The researchers then calculated the electron density of the enzymes and the ligand favipiravir-RTP. This is the active form of the drug Fivapiravir used to combat viral infections. The following step was to analyze the intersection of the electron clouds of the ligand and the receptor. The programs implemented for computer analysis were created at SUSU.

Rendering to the results of the study, the maximum complementarity was recorded when the ligand coincided with the RNA. The findings can be used to predict biological activity and examine the mechanism of drug action. Also, the scientists have presented an equation that can be used to test the effectiveness of the effects of other ligands on receptors. However, the team's work to discover effective remedies for coronavirus is not yet finished. In India, effective substances are being synthesized, in vitro tests will be carried out there, and their Brazilian colleagues will perform them in vivo. The mutability of the virus will be assessed by South African scientists. Once the potency of a potential drug has been proven, production can begin.

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