Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Pathogenesis Through Targeting Small Viral RNAs

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Available for Licensing, Collaboration, and Funding

IP Status

US Utility Patent Pending (Not Yet Published)

Inventors

Hamidreza Chitsaz
Ali Ebrahimpour Boroojeny

At A Glance

​Researchers at Colorado State University have identified novel inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 that target specific svRNAs linked to the pathogenesis COVID-19.  Specifically, three svRNAs have been identified to be used to produce antagomir‑mediated treatments that lead to the reduction of viral titers in SARS‑CoV‑2 infected patients.

Proprietary alignment techniques and algorithms were employed to identify genomic sequence data.

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Licensing Director

Steve Foster
Steve.Foster@colostate.edu
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Reference No.:  2020-092

Background

The world is struggling with a pandemic known as COVID‐19, caused by a novel coronavirus, first identified in December 2019 in a local sea food market in Wuhan, China.  Due to the similarity of its genomic sequence to that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS‐CoV), which is a member of the subgenus of Sarbecovirus, the aforementioned novel coronavirus was named SARS‐CoV‐2. Phylogenetic studies have found a bat origin for this virus.  Currently, the virus had infected more than two million people in 180 countries, causing more than 63 thousand deaths, and has become a global health concern leading to massive lock downs and quarantine all around the world.

Since the emergence of SARS‐CoV in China in 2002, which infected approximately 8,000 people worldwide, multiple research efforts have tried to understand the virus and suggest potential treatments. Even though no vaccines or antivirals have been approved to date, improvements on reducing the severity of the disease and mortality rate have been reported. Because of the similarity of the recent fast‐spreading coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2, sharing more than 79% of its genomic sequence with SARS‐CoV, one plausible way to understand how it works and suggest possible treatments would be to port what has been found for SARS‐CoV previously to SARS‐CoV‐2.

Recent research has reported three small viral RNAs (svRNAs) that are derived from the genomic regions of SARS‐CoV.  Data has shown that these svRNAs contribute to SARS‐CoV pathogenesis, and suggest a potential antiviral treatment using antagomir‐mediated inhibition of these svRNAs.

Applications
  • Antiviral treatment of SARS-CoV-2

Last updated: April 2020

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