National Chung Hsing University
  • 2020 Jul 22
  • National Chung Hsing University debuts its anti-coronavirusanti-cancer drugs at Bio Asia-Taiwan

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Commercial Times)

Professor Ming-Hung Hou and his research team in the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics at National Chung Hsing University will announce two important anti-coronavirus and anti-cancer drugs at 2020 Bio Asia-Taiwan.

The raging novel coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 10 million people and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world. No specific drugs have been found as the cure in the existing treatments, and Professor Ming-Hung Hou and his research team at National Chung Hsing University have adopted a novel drug development strategy by using the functions of coronavirus nucleocapsid protein to successfully develop a broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus drug P3. The research team includes Professor Hung-Yi Wu of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Professor Shun-Yuan Lo of the Department of Chemistry to collaborate with George Mason University in the US. The nucleocapsid protein of the coronavirus is used as a drug development model, and a computer large-scale virtual drug database is used to screen a small-molecule drug candidate P3. Experiments are then conducted to verify that the ends of individual nucleocapsid proteins can overlap, which triggers the severe aggregation of the whole virus nucleocapsid to lose its pathogenic ability.

Recently, it has been confirmed that P3 offers a broad inhibitory effect on a variety of coronaviruses (including COVID-19). Recent animal experiments have also found that P3 can alleviate the clinical symptoms caused by the coronavirus. The R&D team said that P3 can inhibit the coronavirus activity, has low side effects and protein structure information to be used as the basis for future drug optimization. It is hoped that the drug can enter the market as soon as possible as an important anti-coronavirus therapy.

The results of the development have been published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, an important international journal in the field of medicinal chemistry, and put on the cover of the March 2020 issue. The study has been downloaded more than 7,000 times and is highly valued by academia and the industry.

Another drug announced by National Chung Hsing University is an anti-cancer drug.  The high incidence of cancer has made it an important issue for human health. The new type of nucleic acid compound drug developed by Professor Ming-Hung Hou and his research team is based on cutting-edge structural biology. It integrates two types of compounds with different functions to form a new dosage form and a compound drug, NucleiChem, with specific actions from the mismatched nucleic acid. It was found in the animal model that NucleiChem is effective also at very low concentrations, and it also has a cell-selective effect on common drug-resistant tumors, so that it may become a new type of cancer treatment strategy. 

Studies have found that cancers with inactivated DNA mismatch repair (MMR) function tend to have a higher incidence of chemotherapy resistance and treatment failure. Therefore, the development of drugs that specifically bind to mismatched DNA will help the treatment of this type of cancer.

Since 1919, the point of contact in the Global Research & Industry Alliance at National Chung Hsing University is fully committed to promoting research, development, and industry-academia collaboration. It incorporates the R&D results of professors of the school into the progress of the industry and other foundations and research institutes and combines with the fields of agricultural biotechnology, artificial intelligence, smart manufacturing, green energy, biotechnology, and biomedical materials to reinforce its core competencies and build an innovation ecosystem of all fields. It also adds global networking to enter the international market, co-creating a win-win post-pandemic era.