Nature explores why a comprehensive strategy for pandemic preparedness includes a library of therapeutic options and a model for productive collaborations.
The reporter, Max Kozlov, writes:
Researchers should also develop treatments that target other parts of the virus, Schang says. “This time we got lucky with a virus that encodes both a polymerase and a protease, and here we are two years later with only a suboptimal arsenal,” he says. “We really have to identify and validate new targets for antivirals so that when the next [pandemic] happens, we have a much broader pipeline to choose from.”
Other potential targets include a different protease in SARS-CoV-2 called PLpro, and an enzyme called methyltransferase that stabilizes the virus’s RNA, says Matt Hall, the director of the early translation branch at the US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Clear Creek Bio, a biotechnology firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced on 6 January that it will collaborate with NCATS to develop an oral drug targeting the PLpro enzyme.
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