Scientists Develop Novel Therapy to Fight COVID-19 Infection At Its Earliest Stages

Dec, 2021 - By SMI

Scientists Develop Novel Therapy to Fight COVID-19 Infection At Its Earliest Stages

The experimental RNA molecules assisted immunocompromised mice to eliminate the virus completely from their system.

A team of researchers from Yale School of Medicine developed a novel treatment for COVID-19, which is designed to stimulate the immune defense of the body and combat the infection at its earliest stage. The experimental RNA molecule aided in completely eliminating the virus from system of immunocompromised mice, in preclinical tests conducted on animal.

In earlier studies on SARS-CoV-2 it was observed that the levels of type 1 interferon protein production were low in those who were severely affected with COVID-19, and for this research, the scientists created a synthetic RNA molecule termed as SLR14. The molecule was designed to imitate genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 and then activate specific receptors that produces type1 interferons. When a series of tests were conducted on animals, it was observed that a single dose of SLR14 provides protection from severe disease and death when administered before explosion to the virus or immediately after getting infected with the virus. The team found that including Delta variant, the RNA molecule was effective against all the current variants of the coronavirus.  

Furthermore, the team examined the treatment in mouse model with compromised immunity, where the animals were affected with chronic infections of SARS-CoV-2. The SLR14 treatment was able to induce an immune response to completely kill the virus. According to the scientists, this study indicates that such RNA therapeutics could potentially provide protection to immunocompromised patients unable to generate proper antibodies or T cell levels to eradicate virus. Hence, SLR14 can be potential new class of RNA therapeutics that can be used as antivirals to fight SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, as the RNA treatment method is simpler and multipurpose, this study would help to prepare against respiratory pathogens that are sensitive to type 1 interferons in future.

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