TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A group of researchers from the National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) has proposed an alternative method for developing a Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to prevent the virus from mutating.
The team, led by NCHU Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics Director Hou Ming-Hon (侯明宏), has conducted research with George Mason University, hoping to uncover the mysteries behind the coronavirus' ability to create variations of itself in such a short time. Their findings were published by the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in its March issue, according to UDN.
The Taiwanese researchers found that the protein-protein interactions (PPIs) of a new N protein orthosteric stabilizer identified as 5-benzyloxygramine could paralyze the virus cells and diminish their transmission ability. They said the new approach can be applied towards developing alternative COVID-19 treatments, which will more effectively limit coronavirus mutations than drugs already known to scientists, such as redeliver.
Hou explained that mutations in coronavirus strains could potentially hinder current research efforts for vaccine development, which is why the disease has proved to be such a hassle for countries worldwide. He said that the NCHU's findings may provide a new insight in how to approach the coronavirus and develop the most suitable cure, reported ETtoday.
As international scientists continue to look for ways to treat COVID-19 patients, the deadly disease has infected more than 1,981,000 individuals and claimed 126,681 lives across the globe. In Taiwan, 395 individuals have contracted the virus and six have perished from it as of Wednesday afternoon (April 15).
NCHU researcher Hou Ming-Hon (center) and his team discover an alternative way to develop coronavirus vaccine. (NCHU photo)