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Targeting SARS-CoV-2 with robust antiviral protease inhibitors

Date Posted: jueves, junio 18, 2020

The UMass COVID19 Pandemic Fund Review Committee has awarded a COVID19 Pandemic Research Fund Pilot Grant to the Schiffer and Thompson Labs.

Currently no vaccine or drug exists to selectively target SARS-CoV-2. Treatment outcomes would greatly benefit from direct acting antivirals that specifically and potently target the virus. Such medicines have had great efficacy in treating not only long-term viral infections (HIV and HCV), but also acute infections (influenza) especially when administered early. As with influenza, antivirals are critical for treating and protecting via high risk populations, including the elderly, immunosuppressed, and those with chronic disease. Antiviral drugs targeting viral proteases have been particularly successful as these enzymes are critical for replication of many viruses including SARS-CoV-2. Given this precedence, we are developing antivirals that target the two cysteine proteases that are essential for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. 

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