The Project, conducted by Bahçeşehir University (BAU) and Istanbul Medipol University (IMU) within the scope of TÜBİTAK COVID-19 Turkey Platform, has started Phase-2 studies.
New hope in the COVID-19 treatment
The Project that has been developed in the scope of TÜBİTAK COVID-19 Turkey Platform and Prof. Dr. Serdar Durdağı, Head of Department of Basic Medical Units and Biophysics, School of Medicine, Bahçeşehir University, contributing as the executive and Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Güzel, Head of the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Drug Discovery and Development Center Director, School of Medicine, Istanbul Medipol University, as the coordinator researcher, created new hopes for the COVID-19 battle.
In the project that has been started with Phase-2 studies, it was shown with the preclinical studies that the molecular called Montekulast prevents the virus from going in the cell and reproduces within the cell. The preclinical studies have started in the scope of TÜBİTAK COVID-19 Turkey Platform and Bahçeşehir University Scientific Research Project (BAP) with the contributions of more than 30 researchers and scholars from Bahçeşehir University (BAU), TÜBİTAK MAM, Istanbul Medipol University and Koç University.
MORE THAN FIFTEEN THOUSAND MOLECULE EXAMINED
Within the context of the Project, more than fifteen thousand molecular have been scanned on the computer by the special algorithm created for the virtual scanning and molecular modelling studies in the Bahçeşehir University (BAU) laboratories, biological tests have been made to 23 molecules.
It has been defined that the molecule named Montelukast is effective on SARS-CoV-2. It is has been shown Montelukast, which is biologically tested has prevented the virus from going into the cell and reproducing within the cell.
PHASE-2 STUDIES WILL BEGIN IN 8 CENTER
After successful results in virus neutralization tests, clinical studies were planned for Montelukast. Clinical research permission has been granted from the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TİTCK) for the Phase-2 clinical study, clinical study on the 380 volunteer patients with the support of TÜBİTAK, Bahçeşehir University and Istanbul Medipol University. It has been informed that the Phase-2 studies will begin in 8 different centres in the short term.
DURDAĞI: IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE USED BEFORE AND IN COVID-19 TREATMENT
Prof.Dr.Serdar Durdağı, Project Executive, said that ‘’The most important speciality of this drug is that it can prevent the Spike/ACE2 interaction before the virus goes in the cell and has the molecular mechanism that prevents its proliferation by inhibiting the main protease enzyme in the cell. In the analyses performed in virus neutralization tests, it was found that drug treatment before virus infection also delayed the effect of the virus.’’
Explaining that reusing a drug decimates the cost of developing a drug from scratch and its period, continued: ‘’Molecules that presented in the drug positioning studies have run by preclinical and clinical phase studies against different disease, and they do not require long-term preclinical studies as they have a well-defined profile and therefore they make the perfect candidates for conditions such as emergency diseases and pandemics. For this, it has come quickly to Phase 2. ’’
GÜZEL: ENTIRELY LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES USED
Having succeeded in creating a local synthesis of the drug called Favipiravir, used in the COVID-19 treatments, Assoc.Prof.Mustafa Güzel, said emphasized that the new drug candidate was determined with a multidisciplinary approach and a research team consisting of different institutions with drug repositioning studies with entirely local means and the importance of these collaborations.