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Explained: Drug shown to block multiple coronavirus variants in mice

The findings, published in Science Immunology, suggest that diABZI could also treat other respiratory coronaviruses.

The drug diABZI — which activates the body’s innate immune response — was highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19 in mice that were infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The findings, published in Science Immunology, suggest that diABZI could also treat other respiratory coronaviruses.

To identify antiviral agonists that would block SARS-CoV-2 infection, the researchers performed high throughput screening of 75 drugs that target sensing pathways in lung cells. The team also tested a newly-developed small molecule STING agonist called diABZI, which is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration but is currently being tested in clinical trials to treat some cancers. The researchers found that diABZI potently inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection of diverse strains, including B.1.351.

Source: Penn Medicine News

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