Scientists from the Jagiellonian University in the Polish city of Krakow announced the creation of a substance that greatly slows down the infection with a coronavirus infection. This is stated in a message published on the University’s website on April 3.
The substance was created under the guidance of a virologist Professor of the faculty of biotechnology Krzysztof Pyrcz and Professor of the faculty of chemistry Maria Novakovskaya. The study was conducted in collaboration with scientists from the University of Gdansk, the Silesian heart disease center, and groups of scientists from China.
The new product is a chemical compound called HTCC. It slows down the infection of not only COVID-19 but also its “cousin” — the MERS-CoV virus.
“The tests were conducted using an advanced system that simulates a fully differentiated epithelium of the human respiratory system,” the report notes.
The drug has not yet been approved for use in humans. Preliminary studies on rodents have shown that no toxicity or deterioration of lung function was observed when this substance was administered by inhalation.
HTCC was created based on a chitosan compound. The researchers found that this polymer binds to the spike protein, which forms the “crown” for the virus, and blocks its interaction with the cell receptor and penetration into the cell.
“The results are a promising first step towards preparing the drug,” the researchers said.
In Poland, an epidemic regime has been introduced due to the spread of coronavirus. According to the Ministry of the health of the country on April 4, the coronavirus was detected in 3,503 people, 73 of them died.