Professor and Head of Department of Immunology at University ELTE shared information on the work that has already started in Hungary regarding the research and development of a new drug that would neutralise coronavirus inside the body and destroy all infected cells.
Imre Kacskovics, Professor and Head of Department of Immunology from ELTE talked to Magyar Nemzet about the work that has already started on researching and developing a new drug that would neutralise coronavirus inside the body and destroy all infected cells.
Kacskovics emphasised how important it is to have a proper drug to treat the infected, as experts predict a long-lasting epidemic. Research and development already started at two institutions in Hungary: at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, at the University of Pécs.
The aim is to develop a drug that neutralises the virus inside the body, and hopefully, it will also help destroy already infected cells. The medication must decrease the virus’s number inside the body. This would give patients a so-called passive immunity, which helps your immune system to prepare for the battle against the virus.
The molecule would be dual action made up of two components, making it a fusion protein. One of these elements is the protein (ACE2) through which the virus can attach to our body, and the other one is an immunoglobulin, a component of the antibody. Both are known to be safe pharmaceutical ingredients. The department head also added that as no one has ever produced this drug before, this is all just a hypothesis at this point, and we will know more only after the molecule is safely manufactured and tested on cells.
Gedeon Richter Plc. will be responsible for developing, licensing and producing the actual drug. If everything goes according to plan, the future protein will first be tested in PTE’s safety laboratories, after that comes testing on animals and finally on humans. Kacskovics told that if everything goes as planned, clinical trials could possibly start in a year and a half.