Whether it’s the common cold, or COVID-19, researchers at University of BC have identified a compound that may stop these viruses from making you sick.
It targets a process in human cells that coronaviruses use to replicate.
Dr. Tirosh Shapira at UBC’s faculty of medicine says they discovered that coronaviruses “hijack” an enzyme called GSK3 beta to reproduce.
They tested a compound that blocks GSK3 beta and prevents a coronavirus from replicating.
The compound is part of a group of experimental drugs known as GSK3 inhibitors.
Scientists have been studying them as potential treatments for a number of diseases, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
The research found multiple GSK3 inhibitors that are effective against coronaviruses and have a low toxicity to human cells.
They then identified a leading candidate that inhibited both COVID and the common cold virus.
It shows early promise and may provide a path toward creating antiviral treatments for a number of pathegens.
The research was supported by the TV Veterans Association, Genome British Columbia and the BC Lung Foundation.