Scientists from the Jagiellonian University in the Polish city of Krakow have announced the creation of a substance that greatly slows down the infection with coronavirus. This is said in a report published on the University website on April 3.
The substance was created under the guidance of virologist Professor of Biotechnology Faculty Krzysztof Pyrcz and Professor of Chemistry Faculty Maria Nowakowska. The research was conducted in cooperation with scientists from the University of Gdańsk, the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases and groups of scientists from China.
The novelty is a chemical compound called HTCC. It not only slows down the infection of COVID-19 but also its “cousin”, the MERS-CoV virus.
“Tests have been conducted using an advanced system that simulates the fully differentiated epithelium of the human respiratory system,” the report says.
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 the substance was injected by inhalation.
HTCCs were based on a chitosan compound. The researchers found that this polymer binds to the protein Spike, which forms the “crown” for the virus, and blocks its interaction with the cellular receptor and cellular penetration.
“The results are a promising first step towards the preparation of the drug,” – said the researchers.