Popularization of research advances on COVID-19


Masitinib: a new treatment against COVID-19?

When SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell, its genome enables the production of proteins that will be used to assemble new viral particles. The proteins are synthesised by the cellular machinery in the form of large polyproteins, cleaved by cellular and viral proteases. The viral proteases are a potentially useful target in the development of antiviral treatments […]


Budesonide: inhalation treatment suitable for high-risk populations?

Effective and safe treatment against COVID-19 needs to be developed quickly, especially for elderly or high-risk individuals. Amongst medicines currently used, corticosteroids seem to reduce mortality rates in hospitalised patients, but in certain cases can have harmful side-effects and are not unanimously favoured by the medical community. They can be administered locally by inhalation, or […]


Anticoagulants may be ineffective in severe cases

Severe cases of COVID-19 result in uncontrolled inflammation leading to thrombosis (formation of blood clots) in several organs. These risks are generally assessed by levels of specific circulating biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein or D-dimer. As a precaution, patients may be given preventative treatments based on heparin and low molecular weight derivatives (pharmacological thromboprophylaxis), in […]


Tofacitinib: an effective drug against serious cases of COVID-19?

Tofacitinib is an oral medicine, initially used against auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, modulating immune system and inflammatory responses. In severe cases of COVID-19, the clinical symptoms are principally due to an immune response exacerbated by what we call a cytokinetic storm. Tofacitinib may improve levels of inflammation in patients. A study carried out […]


Activating phospholipidosis to block SARS-CoV-2

 The urgency created by the pandemic and the absence of specific medicines meant that previously known molecules have been tried out as treatments. More than 1974 molecules have shown in vitro efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. Notably, those molecules targeting the sigma receptors (chloroquine, haloperidol, clemastine, PB28) modulate viral infection, but their mechanisms remain unknown. This figure […]


TEMPOL, a powerful oxidant against COVID-19

Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 reproduces so as to spread its genetic material. During its replication cycle, certain non-structural proteins (nsp7, 8, 12) assemble to form the viral polymerase (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, RdRp) that enables the transcription and the replication of the viral genome. It interacts with another viral protein, the helicase nsp13, located upstream, which […]


A specially designed treatment for elderly people?

Age is one of the principal risk factors in the majority of chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the particular vulnerabilities of elderly people. Reducing the impact of age may, therefore, allow more effective treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Cellular senescence is the biological process of cell aging, which […]


Camel antibodies produced by mice!

Nanobodies are small monomeric antibodies from camelids, able to attach themselves to antigens (see letter May 3 – 9 2021). These nanobodies are able to reach targets that are inaccessible to conventional antibodies. Several nanobodies have been adapted so that they are effective against SARS-CoV-2 in humans. But they remain difficult to produce from […]


An intranasally administrable IgM antibody

Almost all the therapeutic neutralising antibodies that have been clinically tested are IgG antibodies (or G immunoglobins, that represent more than 75% of antibodies present in serum), administered intravenously. But the IgG antibodies are less effective in reaching the mucous membranes and must therefore be given in high dosages to attain required levels in the […]


Therapy using a combination of antibodies could slow down the emergence of variants

Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 evolves in order to adapt to its environment. Certain current variants can escape not only the antibodies produced either by vaccination or infection, but also the monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) used in emergency treatment. Worse still, this evolution may be caused, through selection pressure, by those same antibodies given as treatment. The […]

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