Presently available treatments are focused only on symptomatic relief measures to help Covid-19 patients overcome the infection.

In a significant development, BHU IIT has begun identifying lead compounds from available and approved drugs to fast-track anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug molecules.

The Science and Engineering Research Board of the Department Science and Technology has approved the research being carried out by a group of scientists led by Professor Vikash Kumar Dubey at the Varanasi-based institute.

“The research group of Prof. Vikash Kumar Dubey is working on developing new drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by exploring Drug Bank (Drug Bank is a database of FDA approved drug compounds. This database will be used for searching drug against SARS-CoV-2) database compounds as an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 main protease, a key enzyme required for SARS-CoV-2 assembly and multiplication,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology on June 2 said.

It further added that the researchers at the institute will be carrying out extensive computational and experimental studies to identify an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 main protease.

Also, the researchers from BHU IIT will undertake study of the available crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease from the available FDA approved drugs compounds in the DrugBank database. Besides, experimental validation of the designed inhibitor on recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Mpro Protein will be carried out.

Various inhibitor parameters will be calculated to establish the effectiveness of the inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro enzyme function, the statement issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology maintained.

As the enzyme SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, is key for processing and polyprotein for virus assembly, the inhibition of this key protein can have an antiviral effect. As most of DrugBank database compounds are characterized in terms of pharmacokinetics and toxicity, the identified molecule could be brought to the market rapidly.

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