Pharma R&D Today

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The power of similarities to accelerate antiviral development for COVID-19

Posted on January 11th, 2022 by

In April 2020, I wrote a blog post entitled “Exploiting similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses to accelerate vaccine and therapy development,” where I described research areas leveraging genetic and phenotypic similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other known viruses. In my quest to find relevant data, I used Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry to generate a list of substances that interact with enterovirus 3C proteases, a target showing striking similarities with the main proteases of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. A set of interesting derivatives using a cyanohydrin as an anchor group caught my attention.1 Interestingly, Pfizer used the cyano warhead a few months later to design their protease inhibitor (PF-07321332). Pfizer’s antiviral forms a complex structure with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, demonstrating the efficacy of the cyano warhead to form a covalent bond with the cysteine residue at the active site.2

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Lessons learned from the Covid vaccine development process

Posted on August 23rd, 2021 by

As the world’s focus has turned to getting the COVID-19 vaccines out as widely and rapidly as possible, it’s easy to almost forget about the incredible global effort that developed them in record time. But it is important to take some time to reflect on the process that got us here, so that we can learn from it and celebrate the amazing researchers whose work is now saving so many lives.

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COVID-19 Treatment Trial Reaches Out to Communities of Color

Posted on April 5th, 2021 by

An ongoing problem in clinical trials over the years has been a failure to procure diverse enough representation among the participants. For a long time, this was due to bias and oversight on the part of the research community, and the consequence was a lack of full understanding in how medications and treatments affected women and various racial/ethnic minorities.

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New Coronavirus Advisory Team Announced

Posted on November 16th, 2020 by

Wasting no time to start enacting his forthcoming administration’s plan for tackling COVID-19, new president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, has unveiled his coronavirus advisory team. “Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” he stated.

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