Active substance testing is underway at a high pace in laboratories around the world in order to find, while racing against the clock, effective antiviral agents that can be used against the new coronavirus. Professor Ferenc Jakab, head of the Virological Research Group at the University of Pécs Szentágothai Research Center and head of the National Coronavirus Research Group informed origo.hu that more than 260 potential compounds are currently being experimented with as potential active substances in the UP Virological Laboratory.
The interview reveals that most of these compounds are already known, active substances that can also be found in pharmacies, but a significant proportion of them are newly synthesized active substances. They are trying to find the compound that is most effective in blocking the virus or preventing it from replicating.
Virologists in Pécs have previously pointed out that the virus can be blocked outside or inside the cell. Extracellular blocking can usually be achieved with antibodies generated by vaccines, artificially produced antibodies, or by other means (e.g. receptor blockers). Virus replication can be inhibited within the cell in several steps by medical professionals.
The various antiviral agents can have multiple effects, and at least six to seven points of attack are known in the replication mechanism of the virus where they are able to intervene and block the virus. One of the most basic is to prevent the virus in some way from binding to cell surface receptors. If they can get into the virus cell, they may find countless points where they can effectively inhibit the pathogen's "replication" mode. This can be the inhibition of the duplication of the viral nucleic acid, the viral hereditary material, the prevention of the reorganization of new viral particles, or even the interception of the release of new virus particles from the cell. The good news is that there are countless points and mechanisms where it can be intercepted. Virologists are now testing agents that can act on multiple points of attack.