This Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization and is provided to you "as is" with little or no review from Science X staff.

Collaborative Research Shows HIV Drug Promising as Possible Coronavirus Treatment

May 1st, 2020
During a lecture on the Molecular & Cell Biology and Immunopathogenesis of coronaviruses attended virtually by more than 125 people, Konstantin "Gus" Kousoulas, head of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, revealed that the drug Nelfinavir mesylate, or NFV, and brand name Viracept, holds exceptional promise in limiting COVID-19 infections. Viracept was developed as a protease inhibitor in the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

The work revealed that Viracept inhibited the ability of a key protein of the virus, the Spike Glycoprotein that protrudes from the surface of the virus and is also found on the surface of infected cells, to facilitate membrane fusion of adjacent cells. Membrane fusion is crucial for virus entry into cells and spread of the virus from one cell to adjacent cells escaping the extracellular spaces and neutralizing antibodies. Viracept was able to inhibit membrane fusion at levels that are typically used in human patients to combat HIV infections.

Molecular modeling by Professor of Pharmacy Seetharama D. Jois and graduate student Achyut Dahal, both with the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Pharmacy, showed that Viracept may directly bind to the viral S glycoprotein. These results strongly suggest that Viracept should be investigated for its ability to prevent virus spread, especially during early stages of SARS-2 CoV infections. Also contributing to this work with Kousoulas are LSU colleagues Vladimir Chouljenko, Farhana Musarrat and Rafiq Nabi.

The University of Louisiana Monroe is a member institution of the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research, an NIH:NIGMS INBRE program. LSU's INBRE, named the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, or LBRN, was established in September 2001 with a $18.5 million grant matched by a $1.2 million supplement from the Board of Regents. This grant has been renewed every five years since 2001. LBRN provides infrastructure support, education, training and research opportunities for students and faculty and fosters connections between primarily undergraduate institutions and biomedical research intensive universities and institutes within the state. Kousoulas is the principal investigator for LSU's LBRN.

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research, and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.

Additional Link:

The anti-HIV Drug Nelfinavir Mesylate (Viracept) is a Potent Inhibitor of Cell Fusion Caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) Glycoprotein Warranting further Evaluation as an Antiviral against COVID-19 infections:

[VIDEO]: LSU Scientists Discover Potential COVID-19 Treatment:

Contact Ginger Guttner

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

Alison Satake

LSU Media Relations

Provided by Louisiana State University

Citation: Collaborative Research Shows HIV Drug Promising as Possible Coronavirus Treatment (2020, May 1) retrieved 18 May 2022 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.