New COVID-19 Prevention Research

As COVID-19 continues to spread, research publications are being shared every day announcing advances toward developing a cure or preventing the spread of the virus. This study published in Cell from the German Primate Center looks at how the virus enters the cells and how this process can be blocked.

The attachment protein “spike” of the new coronavirus uses the same cellular attachment factor (ACE2) as SARS-CoV and uses the cellular protease TMPRSS2 for activation. Existing drugs against TMPRSS2 inhibit COVID-19 infection of lung cells. Credit: Markus Hoffman.

Coronavirus

Several coronaviruses are in existence around the world and are constantly a risk to humans, normally causing mild respiratory issues. However, currently we are experiencing a worldwide spread of COVID-19, which has over 90,000 confirmed cases and over 3,000 deaths.

COVID-19 has been transmitted from animals to humans and causes a more severe respiratory disease. It is closely related to the SARS coronavirus which caused a pandemic in 2002/2003.

Currently, there are no drugs or treatments available for COVID-19. Researchers are using SARS-CoV to study the new coronavirus due to their many similarities.

Stopping the Spread

This study led by a team of infection biologists from the German Primate Center looked at how COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2, enters the host cells to see if this process can be blocked. The researchers identified a cellular protein known as attachment protein “spike” that is important for the entry of the virus into lung cells.

“Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 requires the protease TMPRSS2, which is present in the human body, to enter cells,” says Stefan Pölhmann, head of the Infection Biology Unit at the German Primate Center. “This protease is a potential target for therapeutic intervention.”

One of the antibodies used in this study was our VSV-M [23H12] Antibody. The M protein plays a role in virus assembly and is responsible for mediating molecular mechanisms of VSV pathogenesis. We also offer a variety of other VSV antibodies provided by Wake Forest University.

Potential Drug

It is already known that the drug camostat inhibits the protease TMPRSS2. Therefore, the researchers looked at its ability to prevent COVID-19.

Their study showed that camostat mesilate blocks the entry of the COVID-19 virus into cells. This drug is approved in Japan for use in pancreatic inflammation. Due to the results of this study, the researchers suggest that the drug needs to be tested in clinical trials to see if it protects against COVID-19.

Coronavirus Research

We are hoping to help accelerate the rate of COVID-19 research and offer various antibodies that may be helpful for your studies, including:

You may also be interested in recombinant antibodies against coronavirus from our sister company Absolute Antibody. The antibodies are available here in human IgG1, mouse IgG1 and rabbit IgG formats.