IRP researchers identify potential new antiviral drug for COVID-19
Compound targets essential viral enzyme and prevents replication in cells
The experimental drug TEMPOL may be a promising oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, suggests a study of cell cultures by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. TEMPOL can limit SARS-CoV-2 infection by impairing the activity of a viral enzyme called RNA replicase. The work was led by researchers at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The study appears in Science.
“We urgently need additional effective, accessible treatments for COVID-19,” said Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., NICHD Director. “An oral drug that prevents SARS-CoV-2 from replicating would be an important tool for reducing the severity of the disease.”
The study team was led by Tracey A. Rouault, M.D., head of the NICHD Section on Human Iron Metabolism. It discovered TEMPOL’s effectiveness by evaluating a more basic question on how the virus uses its RNA replicase, an enzyme that allows SARS-CoV-2 to replicate its genome and make copies of itself once inside a cell.
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022