Trial Drug Blocks Early Stages of COVID-19 in Engineered Tissues

An international team of researchers led by researcher Dr. Josef Penninger from the University of British Columbia, Canada, found a trial drug that can block the cellular door with the help of which SARS-CoV-2 infects its hosts.Trial Drug Blocks Early Stages of COVID-19 in Engineered Tissues

In their study, scientists used cell cultures with hrsACE2, human recombinant soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, inhibited the coronavirus load by a factor of 1,000-5,000. Clinical grade hrsACE2 reduced the SARS-CoV-2 infection in these engineered replicas of human blood vessels and kidneys, organoids grown from human stem cells.

Dr. Josef Penninger comments on the study: “Our previous work has helped to rapidly identify ACE2 as the entry gate for SARS-CoV-2, which explains a lot about the disease. Now we know that a soluble form of ACE2 that catches the virus away could be indeed a very rational therapy that specifically targets the gate the virus must take to infect us. There is hope for this horrible pandemic.”

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