Using in silico peptide screening methods developed at the University of Missouri (MU), researchers have designed novel peptides targeting disruption of the interaction between the SARS-CoV2 receptor binding domain (RBD) and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is critical to infection of human cells by Coronavirus.
As of May, 2020, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has, in its first 6 months, claimed ~300,000 lives, and has caused more than 4.18 million infections globally. COVID-19 results from infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV2). This virus infects humans through binding of human ACE2 protein by the RBD domain of the viral large spike protein. As this RBD-ACE2 interaction is crucial to infection by SARS-CoV2, it presents an attractive target for development of therapeutics to treat COVID-19.
However, the RBD-ACE2 interface is a relatively flat interaction, with features more favorable to the design of peptide inhibitors rather than small molecule inhibitors. As such, MU researchers used their novel peptide database and in silico screening methods to identify >40 novel peptides with therapeutic potential. These peptides can be easily delivered via inhalation to reach the extracellular RBD-ACE2 interface.
- Treatment of SARS-CoV2 / COVID-19
- Novel small molecule inhibitors
- 40 candidate peptides, targeting both RBD and ACE2
- Can be delivered stably through inhalation
State of Development: Preclinical
Owner: University of Missouri-Columbia
IP Protection Status: Pending Patent