The next best thing to treat: Queensland researchers in a huge breakthrough of Covid-19, as they find a way to kill 99.9% of the virus in the lungs of humans
- Australian scientists are developing an innovative treatment that stops the coronavirus
- Antiviral therapy has been shown to kill 99% of the virus in the lungs
- The technology works by using an RNA drug known as gene attenuation
Antiviral therapy, which kills 99.9% of Covid-19 particles in the lungs, is declared the next best treatment.
Next-generation technology works as a “heat-seeking missile” to detect and attack particles, developed by a team of international scientists from Australia Menzies Queensland Institute of Health at Griffith University.
Co-lead researcher Professor Nigel Macmillan of MHIQ said the innovative treatment prevents the virus from replicating and could even end Covid-related deaths worldwide.
Professor Kevin Morris (left) Dr. Adi Idris (second left), Professor Nigel Macmillan (center), Dr. Arron Supramanin (right right) and Mr. Youssef Idres (right) are part of the antivirus research team. Griffith University COVID-19
“Essentially it’s a search and destroy mission,” he said.
“We can specifically destroy the virus that grows in the lungs.”
It works with a medical technology called gene attenuation, which was first discovered in Australia in the 1990s.
Gene attenuation uses RNA – a major building block in the body, similar to DNA – to attack respiratory disease.
“It’s a technology that works with small pieces of RNA that can specifically bind to the virus’s genome,” said Professor Macmillan.
“This binding causes the genome to stop working and actually causes the cells to destroy it.”
“Essentially, it’s a search and destroy mission,” said Prof. Macmillan. “We can specifically destroy the virus that grows in the lungs.”
Pictured: The graph shows that the drug with RNA can stop the reproduction of the Covid-19 virus
Although there are other antiviral treatments such as Zanamivir and Remdesivir that reduce symptoms and allow patients with coronavirus to recover more quickly, this is the first treatment to stop the virus directly.
The medicine must be delivered into the blood by injecting into something called a ‘nanoparticle’.
“These nanoparticles go into the lungs and fuse into the RNA-supplying cells,” said Prof. McMillan.
“RNA searches for the virus and it destroys its genome, so the virus can no longer replicate.”
Scientists have been working on the treatment since April last year, as Australia was ordered to stop nationwide for six weeks.
There are more than 165 million cases of coronavirus, including 3.4 million deaths, worldwide after the virus first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan.
Treatment at Griffith University is already on track to enter the next phase of clinical trials and is expected to be available by 2023.
Scientists have been working on the treatment since April last year, as Australia was ordered to stop nationwide for six weeks. Pictured: Technicians prepare Pfizer vaccines at the newly opened COVID-19 vaccination center in Sydney
Griffith University treatment should now enter the next phase of clinical trials and is expected to be available by 2023. Pictured: Technicians prepare Pfizer vaccines at the newly opened COVID-19 vaccination center in Sydney