You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Indian data suggests runaway Covid infections as deaths hit daily record
Record 2 mn coronavirus tests done in India in one day: Health Ministry
Business Standard

New antiviral with 99.9% efficacy against coronavirus developed

An international team of scientists, from Australia and the US, has developed an experimental direct-acting antiviral therapy that can reduce viral load by 99.9%

Topics
Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

IANS  |  Sydney 



New antiviral with 99.9% efficacy against coronavirus developed

An international team of scientists, from Australia and the US, has developed an experimental direct-acting antiviral therapy that can reduce viral load by 99.9 per cent and may be a new treatment against Covid-19.

Traditional antivirals, which include Tamiflu, zanamivir and remdesivir, reduce symptoms and help people recover earlier.

The new antiviral approach used gene-silencing RNA technology called siRNA (small-interfering RNA) to attack the virus' genome directly, which stops the virus from replicating, as well as lipid nanoparticles designed at Griffith University and City of Hope to deliver the siRNA to the lungs, the critical site of infection.

"Treatment with virus-specific siRNA reduces viral load by 99.9 per cent. These stealth nanoparticles can be delivered to a wide range of lung cells and silence viral genes," said co-lead researcher Nigel McMillan, Professor at Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) at Griffith.

When tested in SARS-Cov-2 infected mice the treatment with the therapy improved survival and loss of disease. Remarkably, in treated survivors, no virus could be detected in the lungs, the findings published in the journal Molecular Therapy, showed.

"This treatment is designed to work on all betacoronaviruses such as the original SARS virus (SARS-CoV-1) as well as SARS-CoV-2 and any new variants that may arise in the future because it targets ultra-conserved regions in the virus' genome," added Kevin Morris, Professor and associate director of the Center for Gene Therapy at City of Hope.

Further, the researchers also showed that the nanoparticles are stable at 4 degrees Celsius for 12 months and at room temperature for greater than one month, meaning this agent could be used in low-resource settings to treat infected patients.

The results suggest that siRNA-nanoparticle formulations can be developed as a therapy to treat Covid-19 patients, as well as used for future infections by targeting the virus' genome directly.

"These nanoparticles are scalable and relatively cost-effective to produce in bulk," Morris said.

--IANS

rvt/in

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Subscribe to Business Standard Premium

Exclusive Stories, Curated Newsletters, 26 years of Archives, E-paper, and more!

Insightful news, sharp views, newsletters, e-paper, and more! Unlock incisive commentary only on Business Standard.

Download the Business Standard App for latest Business News and Market News .

First Published: Wed, May 19 2021. 16:09 IST

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU