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New drug candidate against the novel coronavirus

Much of the world is on hold until scientists find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has, so far, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. However, with current estimates suggesting that a vaccine is 12-18 months away, many people are placing increasing hope on an effective treatment for COVID-19. For this reason, people have been eagerly awaiting news on Gilead's experimental Ebola drug remdesivir, after former World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward described it as the only drug that the organization consider to have real efficacy. The scientists analyzed the coronavirus protease in detail to help them identify compounds that target a critical part of its structure. Beginning with a starting material that is available from commercial suppliers, they performed a series of synthesis steps to create two lead compounds named 11a and 11b. The scientists found that both compounds were good inhibitors of the enzyme, achieving 100% and 96% inhibition activity, respectively. According to the reported results, this is a highly promising compound. What is more, because there is no human equivalent to the enzyme that it targets, the drug is unlikely to cause serious side effects in people. The researchers say that preclinical research on the compound is continuing. They are also sharing their data with scientists around the world to help accelerate the development of the treatment.
(credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Is there a link between blood infections and colorectal cancer?

A recent study has concluded that anaerobic bacterial blood infections are associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Anaerobic bacteria, unlike aerobic bacteria, do not require oxygen in order to function. They are a normal part of the human body, existing in various locations, including the gut. They usually do not cause infections, but when they do, it is most often in the area that the bacteria inhabit. The authors of the new study note that previous research had linked specific types of anaerobic bacteria with colorectal cancer. The researchers wanted to further explore this link through a large-scale study. The study authors found that anaerobic bacterial blood infections were associated with a significant increase in the risk of colorectal cancer. Only 0.5% of the control group, who had not had a bacterial infection, developed colorectal cancer, compared with 20.8% of those who had a C. septicum infection. Although the results are interesting, this research is awaiting presentation at a scientific conference. Therefore, details about the full methodology and results are not yet available.
(credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)