GENEVA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Geneva Biotech today announced a SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics platform, based on a ground-breaking discovery that revealed mechanisms driving the high infectivity, broad tissue tropism and severe pathology of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are large, spherical particles with unique sharp surface projections provided by their ‘Spike’ protein, which plays an essential role in infectivity. The virus uses Spike to attach to human cells, allowing it to invade and start replicating, causing widespread damage. An international team of scientists including Geneva Biotech co-founders Daniel Fitzgerald and Imre Berger now published a seminal study in Science Magazine demonstrating that the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid is a key component of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike, and that linoleic acid binding to Spike significantly decreases SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. The team further show that linoleic acid synergizes with currently utilized COVID-19 therapeutics to suppress replication and shut down the virus.
The discovery is a potential game changer in defeating the current pandemic.
Dr. Daniel Fitzgerald, CEO of Geneva Biotech commented: “The discovery that linoleic acid drives reduced infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from its binding pocket in the Spike is of great importance for several reasons. Linoleic acid is a dietary fatty acid, so a key hurdle in drug development that is very much on everyone’s mind with present SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates is already overcome: linoleic acid is safe. We have also demonstrated that linoleic acid can be combined with approved SARS-CoV-2 drugs to improve their efficacy and reduce their required dose. Finally, we have demonstrated that the earlier pandemic coronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS also have linoleic acid binding pockets, so this is an ideal site to develop small molecule antivirals that shut down both SARS-CoV-2 and future coronaviruses.”
For more information on Geneva Biotech’s SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics platform and associated intellectual property estate: Pipeline
For more information on linoleic acid and SARS-CoV-2 : Science Magazine