New Breakthrough in Taiwan’s Anti-pandemic Research! CMU President Mien-Chie Hung and the Research Team Published the Breakthrough Research Results in bioRxiv
Date：August 21, 2020
Scientists all over the world are now working hard to find vaccines for treating COVID-19. The research team led by President Mien-Chie Hung of China Medical University (CMU) applied the strategies and concepts of target therapy for cancer treatment to the combat of COVID-19, and by screening more than a thousand FDA-approved drugs, found an inhibitor that can effectively inhibit the activity of main protease of the coronavirus: Tafenoquine (TFQ).
Their research findings “Inhibition of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 main protease by tafenoquine in vitro” was accepted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and was included in bioRxiv, the preprint server for Biology, which made Taiwan to be seen in the international academic field of anti-pandemic research.
President Mien-Chie Hung stated that the replication and maturation of the coronavirus require the cleavage of the peptide through main protease, to produce the core required for virus replication. The inhibitor Tafenoquine (TFQ) that the research team had screened is the first to prove that TFQ can induce significant conformational changes in SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protein, which will significantly reduce its protease activity.
The research team of CMU also cooperated with National Taiwan University College of Medicine and many young scientist in China Medical University Hospital. Their research proved that TFQ is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infected cell, which is expected to bring a great medical breakthrough in the treatment of COVID-19.
Taiwan has set an excellent example in the pandemic prevention of COVID-19. With the spirit of medical profession, the research team of CMU is developing cutting-edge medical research, and investing into the development of target drugs for COVID-19. “Once we find a treatment or vaccine for the COVID-19, thousands of lives can be saved. We have to work hard to success.” said President Mien-Chie Hung confidently.