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Thursday, August 5, 2021

K-State Virologists Publish New Findings On SARS-CoV-2 Treatment Option

By Erin Pennington – Kansas State University

MANHATTAN — A recent study by Kansas State University virologists demonstrates successful postinfection treatment for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

College of Veterinary Medicine researchers Yunjeong Kim and Kyeong-Ok “KC” Chang published the study in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, or PNAS. They found that animal models infected with SARS-CoV-2 and treated with a deuterated protease inhibitor had significantly increased survival and decreased lung viral load.

The results suggest that postinfection treatment with inhibitors of proteases that are essential for viral replication may be an effective treatment against SARS-CoV-2. These protease inhibitors are a class of antiviral drugs that prevent viral replication by selectively binding to viral proteases and blocking the activation of proteins that are necessary for the production of infectious viral particles.

“We developed the protease inhibitor GC376 for treating a fatal coronavirus infection in cats, which is now under commercial development as an investigational new animal drug,” said Kim, associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. “After COVID-19 emerged, many research groups reported that this inhibitor is also effective against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and many are currently pursuing the development of protease inhibitors as a treatment.”

Kim and Chang modified GC376 using a tool called deuteration to test its efficacy against SARS-CoV-2.

“Treating SARS-CoV-2-infected mice with deuterated GC376 significantly improved survival, viral replication in lungs and weight losses, which shows the efficacy of the antiviral compound,” said Chang, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. “The results suggest deuterated GC376 has a potential for further development, and this deuteration method can be utilized to other antiviral compounds to generate potent inhibitors.”

The virologists are continuing to develop improved inhibitors using various methods. Deuterated GC376 is currently being evaluated for further potential development.

Previous work done by Kim and Chang is continuing development through licensing agreements with industry partners.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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