When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, James Nowick, professor of chemistry at UCI and his research team got to work producing a new molecule — called a macrocycle.
The macrocycle is used to block the action of the coronavirus enzyme by binding to an enzyme molecule called the main protease that’s necessary for the virus to function.
Nowick’s team have named the macrocycle UCI-1, to indicate that it’s the first molecule in what will still be a long journey to create a drug to treat or prevent COVID-19.
Now that Nowick’s lab has a prototype, researchers are making additional molecules that are effective in blocking the protease. They will then work on figuring out how to deliver the best molecule to infected cells.
To read more about this promising first step at UCI, click here.