A Novel Therapeutic Approach Targeting Viral Replication-Essential RNAs by Oligonucleotides

Karni Rotem, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Tabach Yuval, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Developmental Biology and Cancer Research
Rouvinski Alexander, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

The research team plans to develop a drug to inhibit human SARS-CoV-2 replication. They will use comparative genomics to detect conserved regions within the coronavirus family, and within human CoV-19 population, in order to identify essential genes that can be targeted to inhibit the virus replication.

The drug will be a relevant allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASOs), to be delivered into the lung epithelial cells. Following delivery into lung cells, the ASOs will bind the virus’ essential mRNAs, activate RNAse and induce degradation of these mRNAs, and inhibit replication of the virus in the cells.

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