Coronavirus: Researchers Identify Potential Drug Target Against COVID-19

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Researchers have found a protein present in the human body which they claim is crucial for the entry of the novel coronavirus into the lung cells for prevention

Written By Sounak Mitra | Mumbai | Updated On:
Coronavirus

Researchers have reportedly found a protein present in the human body which they claim is crucial for the entry of the novel coronavirus into the lung cells which may act as a novel drug for preventing the deadly epidemic. The researchers from Deutsches Primatenzentrum in Germany reportedly said that the novel coronavirus also called COVID-19 has spread worldwide, claiming over 3000 lives and infecting more than 95,000 people. The study which was published in the journal Cell, reported that the virus has been spreading since December 2019 and is quite similar to the SARS pandemic in 2002-2003.

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Cellular protein identified

It noted that there are currently no vaccines or drugs available to combat the disease. The researchers identified a cellular protein that is important for the entry of the novel coronavirus into the lung cells. Stefan Pohlmann, co-author from the German Primate Center revealed that their results show SARS-CoV-2 requires the protease TMPRSS2, that is present in the human body to enter into the cells. Pohlmann added that the protease is the target for therapeutic intervention. The scientists reportedly added that a druh named  camostat mesilate that has been approved for use in Japan is known to restrain the protease TMPRSS2. They further analysed whether the drug can also prevent COVID-19.  Hoffman said that camostat mesilate might prevent the deadly coronavirus and further added it should be properly investigated in clinical trials. 

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143 new cases confirmed

Mainland China has reportedly confirmed 143 new cases of the coronavirus infection as of March 5, spiking the figures from 139 a day earlier, announced the National Health Commission of China. This soars the total confirmed cases in China to 80,552 bringing the global cases at 98,424 and global 3,042 fatalities as per the reports. Wuhan City in the Hubei province which is the epicenter of the disease accounted for 126 new cases alone, while 16 new imported cases were detected in the country. This increased the confirmed cases among the foreign nationals to 36 who have been infected with the COVID-19, confirmed the reports. While there’s a down sliding trend in the total cases across China except for Wuhan, with 54,000 new recoveries involving patients discharged from hospital after medical treatment, cases abroad are escalating.

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