Venom may play a role in the fight against COVID-19

  • Researchers have found that the peptide they were already looking at for Alzheimer’s disease may help in the fight, or future fights, against COVID-19.
  • The team includes Monash’s Professor Wayne Hodgson and Professor Ian Smith, and Monash BDI’s Dr Sanjaya Kuruppu, Professor Helena Parkington and PhD candidate Rahini Ragavan Kakumanu.
  • The peptide binds to an enzyme which plays an important role in the cardiovascular system. The enzyme in question is called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2.
  • “Activating this enzyme also causes improvements in vascular function – it makes the blood vessels relax. This enzyme is also the receptor for COVID-19. Very early studies show it can stop the binding of proteins [the “spikes” in commonly seen images of the virus] to the cells. We found this very recently, and this is very preliminary, but it shows a lot of promise,” Dr Kuruppu says.

Find out more about what we are doing to solve the scientific challenges posed by COVID-19 by visiting the Monash BDI COVID-19 Program.

Read the full article, originally published on Monash Lens

Snakes alive: Venom may play a role in the fight against COVID-19

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.