Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have come close to making a drug to prevent coronavirus infection. These researchers have discovered the antiviral property of ‘picolinic acid’ (PA) found in the human body. ‘Picolinic acid’ prevents the coronavirus from entering the human body so that the person is not infected.
This discovery was made by a 14-member team from IISc, Bangalore. Shashank Tripathi, a member of this team, said that we have used ‘picolinic acid’ in the laboratory and on animals. Now it will be clinically tested on the human body. He said that we are looking for pharma partners for the development of the drug.
Tripathi said that a virus adopts three stages to infect the human body. The first is when the virus enters a human cell. Second, the virus increases its number in the human cell and thirdly, the virus produced in large numbers comes out of the cell and infects other cells. He told that ‘picolinic acid’ is formed naturally in the human body.
He told that we came to know in our research that ‘picolinic acid’ prevents enveloped viruses from entering human cells. Examples of enveloped viruses are coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), influenza A virus (IAV), Zika, dengue, etc.
Tripathi said that the drug made from ‘picolinic acid’ can be taken before or during infection with the coronavirus. In both cases, it will prevent infection. He told that this medicine can be taken through the mouth or through a vaccine. He told that this drug will not be effective against non-enveloped viruses like ‘Rota’. A patent has been applied for this research from IISc.