Health Frankfurt researchers before studies on Covid-19 drugs

Frankfurt researchers before studies on Covid-19 drugs

The total number of people who test positive in Wiesbaden is constantly increasing, but at the same time the number of people who have recovered is also increasing.
(Photo: Romolo Tavani – adobe.stock.com)

FRANKFURT – The search for vaccines and medicines against the new corona virus is in full swing worldwide. Frankfurt researchers have now also found starting points for Covid-19 therapy and several active ingredients that could stop the new coronavirus. Two of these agents will be further tested in clinical studies.

Biochemists and virologists from Goethe University and the University Clinic in Frankfurt worked together in the Frankfurt research team. They first saw how the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of Covid-19, changes human cells. They tested a number of active ingredients in model tests in the laboratory, some of which could slow or even stop the virus from multiplying. These results make it possible to focus the search for an active ingredient on a small number of already approved drugs. The results have already made waves across the Atlantic: As usual since the beginning of the Corona crisis, the Frankfurt researchers made these available immediately on a preprint server and on the website of the Institute of Biochemistry II.

In the meantime, the approaches from Frankfurt are also being followed up by companies in concrete studies: On the basis of these results, the US company Moleculin Biotech, on the one hand, is preparing an active ingredient for a clinical study that interferes with the carbohydrate metabolism required for virus replication , which is one of the weak points according to the Frankfurt researchers.

A Canadian company is starting a clinical trial with another active ingredient. For example, Bausch Health Americas initially wants to test ribavirin on 50 test subjects based on the active ingredients tested in Frankfurt. Ribavirin stops the proliferation of many types of viruses, including the hepatitis C virus. By the way, scientists at the University of Mainz had been using a “super computer” in the past few weeks to search for substances that could be effective against the new corona virus. Among other things, they also concluded that drugs that work against hepatitis C could also help with the new corona virus.

Dr. Christian Münch, head of the protein quality control group at the Frankfurt Institute for Biochemistry II, is also pleased that there are other potentially interesting candidates among the inhibitors tested in Frankfurt, some of which have even been approved for other indications. The search for an active ingredient continues under high pressure – also with the help of researchers from the Rhine-Main region.

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