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Viper venom may help fight coronavirus: study
Brazilian researchers have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells, a possible first step toward a drug to combat the virus causing COVID-19.
A study published in the scientific journal Molecules in August found that the molecule produced by the jararacussu pit viper inhibited the virus’s ability to multiply in monkey cells by 75%.
The molecule is a peptide, or chain of amino acids, that can connect to an enzyme of the coronavirus PLPro without hurting other cells. The enzyme it connects to is vital to the virus’s reproduction.
The jararacussu is one of the largest snakes in Brazil. (Reuters)
Merck pills may prevent COVID-19 deaths
An experimental antiviral pill developed by Merck & Co. could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, according to data that experts hailed as a potential breakthrough in how the virus is treated.
If it gets authorization, molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.
Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said they plan to seek U.S. emergency use authorization for the pill as soon as possible and to make regulatory applications worldwide. (Reuters)
These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.