DST-SERB to support R&D on potential antivirals against COVID 19

May 27: The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) underDepartment of Science & Technology (DST) has recently supported a proposed study by Prof. Pravindra Kumar from IIT- Roorkee for identification of structure-based potential antivirals against SARS-CoV2. 

The study to be funded under Intensification of Research in High Priority areas (IRHPA) will search for small molecule inhibitors targeting some of the most important viral replication enzymes. These enzymes are viral proteases (papain-like protease & 3CLprotease), RNA dependent RNA polymerase (nsp12), and the Methyltransferase or MTase (nsp14).Viral proteases, which are enzymes encoded by the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of viral pathogens, catalyze the cleavage of specific peptide bonds in cellular proteins.

SARS- CoV-2 is the etiological agent responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic with high morbidity and mortality. Across the globe, the R&D activities by various agencies were initiated towards the identification of clinically effective vaccine or specific antiviral drugs or drug repurposing strategies to combat the COVID-19 infections either in the form of prevention or treatment.

Using structure-based approach for drug repurposing, this study would pave the way to identify the molecules that bind to Mpro active site, and their potential can be used as antiviral molecules against COVID-19.