A pan-coronavirus fusion inhibitor targeting the HR1 domain of human coronavirus spike

Journal: Science Advances

Published: 2019-04-01

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav4580

Affiliations: 10

Authors: 13

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Research Highlight

Antiviral drug blocks coronavirus infection in mice

© Callista Images/Getty

© Callista Images/Getty

A drug with broad-spectrum activity against multiple coronaviruses could help the medical community tackle COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.

A team co-led by scientists from ShanghaiTech University designed a peptide drug that prevents coronavirus infection by binding to — and inhibiting — part of the spike protein used by the viruses to enter human cells.

In cell experiments, the drug successfully blocked infection of five human coronaviruses, including those responsible for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002–2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) illness first reported in 2012. It also worked against three SARS-like coronaviruses found in bats, the source of many viruses that make the leap to humans.

Intranasal administration to mice, both before and after viral challenge, protected against MERS infection, highlighting the drug’s potential prophylactic and therapeutic effects against the latest coronavirus scare.

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  1. Science Advances 5, eaav4580 (2019). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav4580
Institutions Share
Shanghai Medical College (SHMC), Fudan University, China 0.24
UTMB Health, United States of America (USA) 0.19
ShanghaiTech University, China 0.18
Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, China 0.12
New York Blood Center (NYBC), United States of America (USA) 0.10
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), China 0.08
Scripps Research, United States of America (USA) 0.05
Jazan University, Saudi Arabia 0.04