Biotech Updates

International Team of Scientists Identify Common Vulnerabilities in COVID-19 and Other Lethal Coronaviruses

October 21, 2020

Scientists from the University of Sheffield worked with almost 200 researchers from across the globe to identify vulnerabilities in three lethal coronaviruses - including SARS-CoV-2 responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo Source: The University of Sheffield

Scientists from the University of Sheffield working with almost 200 researchers from across the globe have identified common vulnerabilities in COVID-19 and other lethal coronaviruses. The international team of experts from 14 leading institutions has studied SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV to identify commonly hijacked cellular pathways and detect promising targets for broad coronavirus inhibitors with high barriers to resistance. The result of this important research is an important breakthrough in the identification of successful COVID-19 treatment.

The researchers analyzed the medical records of approximately 740,000 patients with COVID-19 to examine drugs that are already approved for use and successful in treating other medical conditions and could be deployed rapidly to help the clinical outcomes of these patients.

Dr. Andrew Peden from the University of Sheffield's Department of Biomedical Science is one of the lead authors of the study. He said they found many of the conserved proteins have similar localizations suggesting that they hijack the same cellular processes. They also identified that the viral protein Orf9b alters the levels of Tom70, a key protein that helps cells identify if they have been infected by viruses.

For more details about this research, read the article at the University of Sheffield News.

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