Susan Baker, Ph.D.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is an important instrument in stopping the distribute of the virus, treatment options are nonetheless important to saving lives all through the pandemic. National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported researcher Susan Baker, Ph.D., experiments COVID-19 treatment options via essential investigate. The investigate is section of NIH’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) method. Dr. Baker spoke about some recent conclusions and what her hopes are for future treatment options of the virus that results in COVID-19 and other viruses.

What is the objective of your existing COVID-19 treatment method investigate?

We are making an attempt to identify new approaches to cease the virus. We are searching at repurposing current medications and also commencing from scratch to identify a compound that would sooner or later be turned into a drug to beat COVID-19. We feel antiviral medications can be incredibly helpful, but it can just take a extended time to build them. The upside is if we identify this kind of a drug, it could block several different varieties of coronaviruses, not just the virus that results in COVID-19. A wide-spectrum drug would help both of those in this pandemic and versus future emerging viruses.

Inform us about your recent investigate in COVID-19 treatment options.

My collaborators screened a library of medications that ended up permitted by the Food items and Drug Administration for managing other disorders and discovered a compound that can block the replication of SARS-CoV-two in cells. My group tested this drug and uncovered that it blocks one of the viral proteases (or viral enzymes) that is necessary for replication. If this drug can be evaluated in scientific trials in patients with COVID-19, we will learn if it can be utilised to treat patients in this existing pandemic. When this is thrilling, there is nonetheless a great deal do the job to be completed to identify helpful treatment options for COVID-19.

What is your hope for the future of COVID-19 treatment method investigate?

I hope we can uncover an helpful way to treat individuals with the virus that results in COVID-19 and reduce the incidence of intense condition. In addition, we might be capable to treat individuals with gentle signs or symptoms and limit the distribute of the virus. Stopping the distribute of the virus is important for trying to keep individuals out of the intense care unit. If somebody without the need of signs or symptoms ended up to take a look at favourable, my hope is that we could give them a drug to quickly cease the virus from spreading in that person, or from spreading to other folks.

Why is it important to proceed investigate on COVID-19 treatment options now that vaccines are out there?

There are a few causes. A new variant of the COVID-19 virus could arise that out there vaccines are unable to cease. Or another coronavirus could arise. We want to have medications out there that can goal the proteins shared by all coronaviruses. This drug might block newly emerging viruses that could result in a new pandemic. Which is why it really is important to retain investing in essential investigate to understand these troubles and to build helpful treatment options versus all coronaviruses.