Three natural products from foods such as green tea, olive oil and red wine have emerged as promising candidates for drug development against the coronavirus. An X-ray screening has identified the corresponding substances that block an important virus enzyme and thus paralyze virus replication, the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) announced on Thursday in Hamburg.
All three compounds hydroxyethylphenol (YRL), hydroxybenzaldehyde (HBA) and methyl dihydroxybenzoate (HE9) are already used as active ingredients in existing drugs, as the researchers from the University of Hamburg and DESY report in the journal "Communications Biology". Whether and when a corona drug can be developed based on the model of these natural substances has not yet been clarified.
A total of 500 natural substances were mixed with the enzyme for virus replication. "An active substance that binds to the enzyme at the right point can block its function," says Vasundara Srinivasan from the University of Hamburg. If this process is blocked, no new virus particles could assemble.
The DESY researchers have been active in corona research since the beginning of the pandemic. Using an X-ray method developed for the brain, researchers have, for example, examined the damaged lung tissue of Covid 19 patients extremely precisely. According to DESY, several departments also make parts of their computing capacity available for data analysis and complex computer simulations. Among other things, it calculates how certain virus proteins behave. And finally, research is about innovative forms of administration of corona drugs. The aim is to mitigate possible side effects for patients.