The latest in NIH COVID-19 treatment research

Susan Baker, Ph.D.

Although the COVID-19 vaccine is an vital resource in stopping the distribute of the virus, therapies are nevertheless crucial to preserving life through the pandemic. National Institutes of Overall health (NIH)-supported researcher Susan Baker, Ph.D., studies COVID-19 therapies through essential research. The research is element of NIH’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) method. Dr. Baker spoke about some recent findings and what her hopes are for foreseeable future therapies of the virus that leads to COVID-19 and other viruses.

What is the aim of your current COVID-19 cure research?

We’re attempting to establish new methods to end the virus. We are seeking at repurposing current medication and also starting off from scratch to establish a compound that would sooner or later be turned into a drug to fight COVID-19. We believe that antiviral medication can be incredibly successful, but it can choose a extensive time to develop them. The upside is if we establish this sort of a drug, it could block lots of unique varieties of coronaviruses, not just the virus that leads to COVID-19. A broad-spectrum drug would support both equally in this pandemic and versus foreseeable future emerging viruses.

Inform us about your recent research in COVID-19 therapies.

My collaborators screened a library of medication that were accredited by the Foodstuff and Drug Administration for dealing with other ailments and determined a compound that can block the replication of SARS-CoV-two in cells. My team analyzed this drug and uncovered that it blocks just one of the viral proteases (or viral enzymes) that is important for replication. If this drug can be evaluated in clinical trials in people with COVID-19, we will study if it can be applied to handle people in this current pandemic. When this is enjoyable, there is nevertheless a lot operate to be completed to establish successful therapies for COVID-19.

What is your hope for the foreseeable future of COVID-19 cure research?

I hope we can uncover an successful way to handle persons with the virus that leads to COVID-19 and minimize the incidence of significant illness. In addition, we may perhaps be equipped to handle persons with mild indications and limit the distribute of the virus. Halting the distribute of the virus is vital for retaining persons out of the intensive treatment device. If someone without the need of indications were to take a look at positive, my hope is that we could give them a drug to quickly end the virus from spreading in that individual, or from spreading to many others.

Why is it vital to continue on research on COVID-19 therapies now that vaccines are out there?

There are a couple of reasons. A new variant of the COVID-19 virus could emerge that out there vaccines cannot end. Or a different coronavirus could emerge. We want to have medication out there that can concentrate on the proteins shared by all coronaviruses. This drug may perhaps block newly emerging viruses that could induce a new pandemic. Which is why it is really vital to hold investing in essential research to comprehend these concerns and to develop successful therapies versus all coronaviruses.