Computer-designed small proteins have now been shown to protect lab-grown human cells from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The findings are reported today, Sept. 9, in Science
In the experiments, the lead antiviral candidate, named LCB1, rivaled the best-known SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in its protective actions. LCB1 is currently being evaluated in rodents.
Coronaviruses are studded with so-called Spike proteins. These latch onto human cells to enable the virus to break in and infect them. The development of drugs that interfere with this entry mechanism could lead to treatment of or even prevention of infection.
Institute for Protein Design researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine used computers to originate new proteins that bind tightly to SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and obstruct it from infecting cells.
Beginning in January, more than two million candidate Spike-binding proteins were designed on the computer. Over 118,000 were then produced and tested
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Aug 31, 2020 (MarketResearch.biz via Comtex) —
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