This week in therapeutics




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Publication and contact information

Infectious disease

Viral infection

Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4; CD26)

Cell culture studies identified DDP-4 as the receptor of human coronavirus-Erasmus Medical Center (hCoV-EMC) and suggest that blocking the protein could help treat infection. In cell culture, hCoV-EMC bound and infected cells that expressed DDP-4 but not cells that lacked the protein. In cells expressing DDP-4, polyclonal DPP-4 antiserum blocked hCoV-EMC infection. However, in cell culture, hCoV-EMC infection could not be blocked with the DPP-4 inhibitors Glactiv sitagliptin, Equa vildagliptin or Onglyza saxagliptin, suggesting binding takes place outside of the enzyme's catalytic region. Next steps include generating humanized mAbs that block the interaction between hCoV-EMC and DPP-4.
Merck & Co. Inc. and Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. market Glactiv sitagliptin to treat diabetes.
Novartis AG markets Equa vildagliptin to treat diabetes.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., AstraZeneca plc and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. market Onglyza saxagliptin to treat diabetes.

SciBX 6(13); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.314
Published online April 4, 2013

Patent application filed; unlicensed

Raj, V.S. et al. Nature; published online March 13, 2013;
Contact: Bart L. Haagmans, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam,
the Netherlands