Polish scientists are getting closer to an effective drug for COVID-19

A team of Polish scientists from Łukasiewicz – Industrial Chemistry Institute and Wrocław University of Technology, in cooperation with the laboratories of Rolf Hilgenfeld (Lubeck) and Shaun Olsen (San Antonio), identified molecules with great therapeutic potential that could be a breakthrough in finding an effective drug against COVID-19. Thanks to research conducted under the supervision of Prof. Drąga from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology managed to identify molecules whose action may be even better than that of ebselene – a known anti-inflammatory drug, which in previous studies turned out to be a promising inhibitory substance (inhibitor) of both SARS-CoV-2 proteases. The COVID-19-causing coronavirus has two proteases, or enzymes. The aim of the The project “Research on a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and support for research work on the search for an effective therapy” is precisely the inhibition of the enzyme, which will prevent the spread of the virus. – Our research on close structural analogs of this drug allowed to identify even better than ebselene molecules, both for Mpro and PLpro proteases. What’s more, these compounds are excellent inhibitors of both viral proteases, so their therapeutic potential is definitely more promising – explains Prof. Drąg from the Wrocław University of Technology. Research currently conducted by prof. Drąg was preceded by the preparation of an active and functional Mpro protease, which was undertaken by a team led by dr hab. Małgorzata Kęsik-Brodacka from Łukasiewicz – Institute of Industrial Chemistry. – The discovery is a promising platform for the development of new antiviral drugs targeting both SARS-CoV-2 proteases – emphasizes Dr. Małgorzata Kęsik-Brodacka from Łukasiewicz – IChP. Completion of the project is planned for the end of October this year. The direction of further research will depend on the results of intensive work. Research work is financed, inter alia, from the fund of the Medical Research Agency.