As the coronavirus or COVID-219 outbreak continues to spread worldwide scientists regularly are discovering new facts about the novel virus and are making important advancements in tackling the outbreak.

Now, according to a latest study, scientists have identified a preexisting drug, which is used for treating multiple diseases like bipolar disorders, hearing loss, which can prevent the novel coronavirus from replicating in host cells. This discovery may lead to a solution against the novel virus.

The study, which got published in the journal Science Advances, studied the molecule main protease, Mpro, of the new coronavirus, which is one of the important enzymes that play a central role in its life cycle. As per the researchers, including those from the University of Chicago, Mpro enables the ability of the virus to make proteins from the genetic material, RNA, and allows the pathogen to replicate it within the host cell.

Ebselen Can Prevent COVID-19

Coronavirus
Coronavirus outbreak in China (Representational picture) Pixabay

"By virtue of the large number of compounds considered in high throughput screens, those calculations must necessarily involve a number of simplifications, and the results must then be evaluated using experiments and more refined calculations," the co-author of the study Juan de Pablo from the University of Chicago mentioned.

They discovered that the drug that shows promise against Mpro is Ebselen, which is a chemical compound with anti-viral, anti-oxidative, bactericidal, and cell-protective properties The researchers stated that Ebselen s used for treating many diseases, including the bipolar disorder.

The team developed detailed models of the enzyme and the drug and discovered that Ebselen is able to decrease the activity of Mpro in two different ways. "In addition to binding at the catalytic site of the enzyme, Ebselen also binds strongly to a distant site, which interferes with the enzyme's catalytic function by relying on a mechanism in which information is carried from one region of a large molecule to another region far away from it through subtle structural reorganizations," de Pablo mentioned.

The scientists believe that this finding will turn pout to be very important in developing new therapeutic plans against the deadly novel virus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of over 765,000 people and infecting more than 21.1 million people globally.