Popularization of research advances on COVID-19

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Old drugs against proteases

The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes large polyproteins. They are cut by a viral protease into several proteins essential for the structure of the virus, the replication of its genome or the translation of the genome into proteins for the assembly of new virions. Currently, there is no drug that can successfully treat COVID-19. Since the role […]


Are nanobodies more effective than antibodies?

Hopes have been raised for the treatment serious cases of COVID-19 by monoclonal antibodies. These drugs are now on the market, though certain obstacles have prevented their widespread use: their high cost, their short therapeutic window (they must be given between the 4th and the 7th day of the illness), the huge numbers of patients […]


CRISPR-Cas technology: a new tool in the fight against COVID-19?

The scale of the COVID-19 epidemic has shown clearly the extent to which we were ill-prepared for it. Making diagnostic tests quickly available to large numbers of people and developing new treatments against a new virus are not easy given our current methods. Without the means of detecting emerging or re- emerging viruses at an […]


Could antibodies from convalescents be used?

SARS-CoV-2 is the third β-coronavirus to appear in humans. After the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV epidemics, very few antibodies had been isolated for therapeutic use. Currently there are numerous attempts underway to purify and characterise those antibodies that are effective against SARS-CoV-2 so as to guide the choices of treatment strategies and to assess their responsiveness […]


The synergy of two antibodies

SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 have all been at the origin of epidemics over the last 20 years. The β-coronaviruses often come from animals in which they exist without causing illness, in particular bats. When the human immune response moves into action, neutralizing antibodies target the spike viral protein and block interaction of the virus with […]


Niclosamide: a new treatment option against COVID-19?

SARS-CoV-2 penetrates into the cell using its spike (S) viral surface protein. Following its interaction with the cell, the S protein allows the fusion of viral and cellular membranes which usually occurs after endocytosis. Nevertheless, the infected cells, which express the S protein on their surface, are able to merge with others, causing the formation […]


How do we make antibodies still more effective?

Antibodies that attach themselves effectively to their target have a major importance in biomedical research and in medicine. We can speak of affinity (more or less strong binding) and of specificity of the target site. This perspective is interesting not only for pathologies such as cancer, but also against COVID-19. This effectiveness can be enhanced […]


Lipopeptides: a new weapon against COVID-19?

Entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cells requires the fusion of viral and cellular membranes. This fusion is mediated by the spike (S) surface viral protein. We already knew that peptides (small proteins) that bind to one end of the S protein inhibit membrane fusion. Dutch and American researchers recently tested this type of peptide, coupled with […]


Blocking inflammatory over-activation

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has affected millions of people across the world, whether in terms of health or economic hardship. So one of our main priorities is to find an effective treatment. As severe cases develop, we can observe an initial phase where the viral load increases, followed by a second phase characterised […]


Treatment using a protease inhibitor

The SARS-CoV-2 genome codes for 2 polyproteins, 4 structural proteins (including the spike) and other accessory proteins. The viral protease Mpro has the function of splitting the polyprotein into individual proteins and has a central role in the virus cycle. Since Mpro  has no equivalent in humans, it is an excellent choice for targeting by […]

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