A Computer-designed synthetic antiviral proteins have been shown to protect lab-grown human cells from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In the experiments, the lead antiviral candidate, named LCB1, fought the best-known SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies in its protective actions, according to the findings published in the journal Science.
The scientists at the University of Washington in the US noted that LCB1 is currently being evaluated in rats. Coronaviruses are studded with so-called Spike proteins, which latch onto human cells to enable the virus to break in and affect them.
They used computers to develop new proteins that bind tightly to SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and obstruct it from infecting cells.