20th May 2020

Therapy approaches for COVID-19

Along with a team of biochemists and virologists at Goethe University and the Frankfurt University Hospital, Dr. Christian Münch, one of our Life Sciences Bridge Award winners 2019, was able to observe how human cells change upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 in people.

The scientists tested a series of compounds in laboratory models and found some which slowed down or stopped virus reproduction. These results now enable the search for an active substance to be narrowed down to a small number of already approved drugs with one of them currently being tested in clinical trials.

Dr. Christian Münch, Head of the Protein Quality Control Group at the Institute for Biochemistry II comments: “Thanks to the mePROD-technology we developed, we were for the first time able to trace the cellular changes upon infection over time and with high detail in our laboratory. We were obviously aware of the potential scope of our findings. However, they are based on a cell culture system and require further testing. The fact that our findings may now immediately trigger further in vivo studies with the purpose of drug development is definitely a great stroke of luck.” Beyond this, there are also other potentially interesting candidates among the inhibitors tested, says Münch, some of which have already been approved for other indications. 

Congratulations to Dr. Christian Münch and his colleagues for this breakthrough research.

Article based on https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/guf-frd051320.php
Further information:
Nature DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2332-7;
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2332-7 .