News > Will the origins of the coronavirus name lead us to the answers for a cure?

Hits:2450 , posted at 2020/4/23 13:41

Welook into the peptide therapeutics around the world combating COVID-19.

COVID-19 has become a global pandemic that has resulted inunbelieve loss in human life and economic disaster. It’s hard to utilize onlynumbers to characterize the impact it has had.

With that, the race is on and the pharmaceutical andbiotechnology space has been accelerating at full force to find a therapeutic.In the last few weeks at CSBio, we’ve seen that while not all companies areworking directly on COVID-19 related activities, the need for a strong supplychain of pharmaceuticals has resulted in all of our customers being fullyoperational during this time and requiring support for their instruments. Somein the pharmaceutical space are even looking to move faster in the delivery ofupcoming drugs, whether it be for name brand products or generics. With thatsaid, let’s focus on the latest peptide research for COVID-19.

By now, nearly everyone is quite educated on the background ofCOVID-19, so we’ll skip the introduction. What some might not know, is that thename coronavirus, the family of virus which COVID-19 belongs, originates fromthe term “corona”. “Corona” also means halo, or crown. In astronomy, an exampleis the glow surrounding an eclipsed sun. While in anatomy, “corona” is definedby resemblance to a crown.

Under anelectron microscope, that's where the virus can be seen surrounded by a“corona”, where the spike glycoprotein is what creates the “corona” crown likeappearance of the virus.


Coronavirus under an electron microscope and coronavirusstructure


How doesCOVID-19 infect a person? Well it’s the spike glycoprotein that binds to theACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) receptor on cells, largely respiratorycells, though ACE2 receptors exist in other cells as well. This binding createsthe entryway for the virus to the human cells, allowing it to replicate andspread to new cells. A paper that goes into this is from  Professor Wrappet al of University of Texas, Austin, where they evaluated the COVIDglycoprotein as a key target for binding.

This target hasbeen the focus for various peptide researchers, including those at  Professor Brad Pentelute’s Lab at MIT, where they have identified a23-mer peptide-based binder  to inhibit the ability for the glycoproteinto bind to the ACE2 receptors, or  Professor Bo-Jian Zheng at the University of Hong Kong where they haveidentified four 20-mer peptides  that act as inhibitors to thesame glycoprotein found in COVID-19. Could it be in targeting the “corona”where we find a cure?

While notnecessarily targeting the “corona”, a number of other peptides have made newsin combating coronavirus. This includes  Cel-Sci who isutilizing their Ligand Antigen Epitode Presentation System (LEAPS) technology  todevelop an immunotherapy where they believe their LEAPS peptide “can stimulatethe correct immune responses to the virus without producing unwantedinflammatory responses associated with lung tissue damage,” as noted in theirpress release by Daniel Zimmerman, Cel-Sci’s Senior VP of Research.Additionally Incyte and Shanghai Hengrui, who are utilizing camrelizumab and thymosin,where thymosin is a 28 amino acid peptide that helps to enhance the immune response.

Current treatmentoptions and the role of peptides as potential therapeutic components for MiddleEast Respiratory Syndrome   is also mentioned in articles by scholars suchas Sabeena Mustafa.CSBio has also synthesized peptides from the antiviral/anti-coronavirus components shown in the figure below.

Role of peptides as potentialanti-viral/anti-coronavirus components

More news aroundthe world about peptides and COVID-19:

·      Generex Biotechnology Provides Guidance on the Safety of Ii-Key Peptide Vaccines for the Development of Effective Solutions to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Pandemic

·      Romanian researchers start lab testing Covid-19 vaccine

·      Research on potential vaccine against all the structural and non-structural proteins of novel coronavirus-2 (2019-nCoV) for experimental testing

·      Discovery of Hydrocarbon-Stapled Short α-Helical Peptides as Promising Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Fusion Inhibitors

Are you workingon COVID-19 peptides?  Let us know,  we’d love to add it to this list.

Need a peptidesynthesizer that can rapidly synthesize peptides from your research tocommercial needs?  Get in touch with us.

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