KIIT Researchers a Part of First Antiviral Compounds Against Novel Coronavirus


Since the outbreak, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc and swept the planet at lightning speed. Scientists have been trying to crack potent drugs and vaccines for viable treatment at a galloping pace.

However, there has been no decline but a sharp spike in the number of positive cases while death tolls continue to climb the ladder. The world expeditiously needs highly efficacious therapeutic agents to combat the deadly virus. The gravity of the situation led to the formation of an international research team which included researchers of KIIT University and Uppsala University. The team has successfully identified several antiviral compounds that could potentially help to design drugs against the novel coronavirus.

The scientists, including researchers from KIIT University, Uppsala University, Sweden and the Denmark University of Southern Denmark, screened 640 antiviral compounds, including some antiviral drugs and also vaccines that promise to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Currently, the development of a new drug from basic research involves an enormous amount of money and time. The drug discovery process can be expedited significantly by computationally. This prompted the team to carry out a systematic finding of potent antiviral drugs and vaccine candidates based on state-of-the-art bioinformatics approaches to determine the binding of different drug molecules, and they succeeded in identifying 38 anti-coronaviral drugs, from a pool of plausible antiviral drug candidates. The researchers found that an antiviral polymerase inhibitor PC786 targets several SARS-CoV-2 receptors with high affinity, making it a standout among the antiviral drugs.

“The strategy will reduce the translational distance between preclinical test results and clinical outcomes, which is a significant challenge in the rapid development of practical treatment approaches for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic”, says Prof. Rajeev Ahuja and Pritam Kumar Panda, Uppsala University.

“Our results can be seen to represent an important advancement in the search of new drugs to treat COVID-19 in very near future”

says Prof. Mrutyunjay Suar – KIIT UNIVERSITY

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