* Download comes with a free subscription to our newsletter. You can unsubscribe any time. You will not get duplicate emails if you download more than one report.

  1. 1

SARS-CoV-2 exploits a receptor on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, to gain entry into cells. The virus binds to a cell’s ACE2 receptor and injects its genetic material into the cytosol so the virus can replicate. A recent study suggests that an experimental antiviral drug called APN01 might inhibit SARS-CoV-2’s capacity to bind with ACE2.

APN01, also known as human recombinant soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or hrsACE2, is a genetically engineered drug. A previous clinical trial demonstrated hrsACE2’s efficacy against acute respiratory distress syndrome, a common complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The authors of the current study isolated SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal (roof of the mouth) samples taken from a patient in Sweden who tested positive for COVID-19. Then they infected cultured cells with the isolated virus with or without the presence of hrsACE2. Fifteen hours after infection, they found that hrsACE2 inhibited viral entry by a factor of 1,000-5,000 by impairing SARS-CoV-2’s ability to bind to the ACE2 receptor.

These findings demonstrate that hrsACE2 shows promise as a therapeutic against COVID-19. Future clinical trials will further elucidate the drug’s efficacy in humans.

  1. You must first login , or register before you can comment.

    Markdown formatting available
     

This news story was included in a recent science digest.

The science digest is a special email we send out just twice per month to members of our premium community. It covers in-depth science on familiar FoundMyFitness related topics.

If you're interested in trying out a few issues for free, enter your email below or click here to learn more about the benefits of premium membership here.