Drug candidate, on trial, holds promise 

#GS3 #Science #Pandemic 

Findings highlight that virus replication inhibitors could be effective: expert 

  • The SARS-CoV-2 virus exists as a mere strand of RNA and it requires a host to replicate.  
  • Scientists have discovered that the active site of RDRp shows striking similarities with the Polio Virus and the Hepatitis C virus, and using that knowledge, they have tried to use known drug candidates that work in that RDRp environment and work back to see if they are effective with the novel coronavirus.  
  • They also showed exactly where on the RNA dependent RNA polymerase — the main machinery to form strands of RNA — that this drug will bind with.  
  • Remdesivir, a nucleotide analogue, then acts as part of the growing RNA chain, fooling the virus into believing it is replicating, and thereby stops true replication. 
  • The findings highlight the fact that virus replication inhibitors hold promise and that the virus enzyme protein nsp12 represents a high value target to develop novel therapies for treating COVID-19 patients. 
  • Currently, remdesivir, which is made by the American pharma company Gilead Sciences, is not available in India. With over 16 lakh cases of Corona-19 in 213 countries across the world, as per WHO statistics, and a record 99,690 confirmed deaths, the race to pick a winning candidate for treating COVID-19 and reducing the mortality and morbidity from the disease.  

A couple of trials, are already ongoing to test remdesivir, which has already emerged as a promising candidate.

 

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