Repurposing of therapeutics to block SARS-CoV-2 protease activity and pathogenesis

Researchers in Christina Woo’s lab are studying the essential mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) co-opts normal cellular processes for viral replication. One mechanism that the team has identified indicates that the virus encodes proteases that cleave host-cell factors. These viral proteases are critical for viral reproduction and represent a promising target of therapeutic intervention for COVID-19.

The Woo lab has generated expertise in detection of unusual modifications on host-cell proteins using different proteases, notably resulting in the discovery of a modification that SARS-CoV-2 may use for pathogenesis. If this mechanism is indeed employed by SARS-CoV-2, then pre-existing, FDA-approved small molecule drugs may be repurposed for COVID-19 therapeutic intervention.

The Woo lab is looking for industry partners to assist in validating the findings and accelerate therapeutic development to block SARS-CoV-2 protease activity and pathogenesis.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending