Texas A&M Group Researches New Drug for COVID-19

Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash

Texas A&M University Professor of Chemistry, IBT, BioBio and MCM Director of the Texas A&M Drug Discovery Laboratory Wenshe Ray Lui and his research team may have discovered a treatment to help those infected by COVID-19.

The new potential drug, called MP18, is showing promise through lab testing to become effective against the more powerful and more contagious variants, such as Delta, that are starting to make their claim throughout the world.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention said Delta makes up nearly 85 percent of COVID cases that are throughout the United States currently.

Lui and his research team designed MP18 to cease the replication of COVID. He said they focused on one critical enzyme and to block that function of that enzyme, with the hope to ericaite it from patients.

“The purpose is to get rid of the virus from infected human patients,” said Lui.

So far, MP18 has not been approved by the FDA, but the hope is to make that possible by 2022. According to Texas A&M Today, Sorrento Therapeutics is working on getting the rights to MP18 and is in agreement as of the end of August.

“If everything goes well the earliest possible date for those patients who can use this drug will probably be next summer,” he said.

Lui said that the use of vaccines is important, but they are the reason why we are seeing so many variants. Vaccines are creating a mutation of strains that are copying the original protein and “that’s why we see new variants that don’t respond to COVID vaccine.”

To counteract this, the vaccines need to be modified for the different strains.

Lui and his team see the effectiveness of this drug being high in counteracting future COVID strains but not 100 percent.

“I think this compound will be equally potent, equally effective. I cannot really say this compound will be effective toward all future strains. I think I’m confident to say in the high chance it will be very effective,” he said. “So will there be future variants that cause the virus not respond to this compound at all? There is but I think the chances are very, very low.”

Researchers are responsible for creating pharmaceuticals that protect the public. Lui said his research team and others like them need the support of their findings, such as for vaccines and this new potential drug which has the goal of helping to curve the pandemic and help with illnesses of the past and ones that will come in the future.

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