[Translate to en:]
On April 21, Ulrike Protzer, director of the Institute of Virology, and Andreas Pichlmair, Professor of Immunopathology of Viral Infections, will deliver the Covid-19 Lecture on Virus-Host Interaction.
Image: ediundsepp
  • Covid-19, Event
  • Reading time: 2 MIN

Interview with Prof. Ulrike Protzer on her talk at the Covid-19 Lectures"Antivirally effective drugs are in the development pipeline"

On April 21, Ulrike Protzer, director of the Institute of Virology, and Andreas Pichlmair, Professor of Viral Immunopathology, will give the Covid-19 Lecture on virus-host interaction. Ahead of the event, Prof. Protzer explains in this interview how effective current antiviral therapies are against Covid-19 and how the development of additional drugs is progressing.

What antiviral therapies against Covid-19 are currently available - and how effective are they?
Unfortunately, there are only very few therapies against Covid-19 so far. One has to distinguish between two fundamentally different therapeutic approaches: On the one hand, therapies that suppress inflammatory reactions in the body; they aim to reduce so-called immunopathogenesis, such as cortisone or antibodies against the cytokine IL-6 - here, a certain effectiveness has been shown in clinical studies. On the other hand, there are therapies with a direct antiviral effect, which prevent the virus from multiplying and spreading. Unfortunately, there is not yet a drug that shows convincing efficacy in this area. But since these therapies have brought therapeutic breakthroughs in most viral diseases, it is very important to work on them.
In your view, how quickly is development progressing?
Directly antivirally effective drugs can only be developed if we understand the virus very well and know its essential enzymes, which we can "attack" as the Achilles' heel of the virus. To this end, Prof. Andreas Pichlmair's group has conducted what is probably the most comprehensive analysis worldwide to date. An alternative strategy is to use already known elements, such as the viral receptor, as an approach to antiviral therapy. That's what my group has done, developing a direct viral inhibitor, in collaboration with biochemists and medicinal chemists.
What will the future hold - and more importantly, when?
Unlike vaccine development, you can't simply start with genetic information here. In addition, research funding for vaccine development has also been significantly higher compared to antiviral drug development. A whole series of antivirally active drugs are now in the development pipeline, and we very much hope that we will soon be able to report successes similar to those in the development of vaccines.

Live stream „Die Virus-Wirt-Interaktion oder wie man die Achilles-Ferse des Virus für neue antivirale Therapien nutzen kann“ on April 14. 6:15 p.m.

Talk in German language


More information:

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center Corporate Communications Center

Article at tum.de

Portrait of Prof. Martin Boeker, Prof. Alena Buyx und Prof. Dirk Heckmann

"Health data are important for pandemic control"

On May 5, Martin Boeker, Professor for Medical Informatics, Alena Buyx, Professor for Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies and Chair of the German Ethics Council, and Dirk Heckmann, Professor for Law and Security in...

A multidimensional view of the coronavirus

What exactly happens when the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell? In an article published in Nature, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry paints a...

COVID-19: Perspectives on current research

As the past year has shown, science is central to dealing with and combating the Corona pandemic. Researchers are constantly creating new knowledge about the virus, advising policymakers and industry on medical, ethical and...

Pollen counts increase the risk of developing covid-19.

Covid-19 risk increases with airborne pollen

When airborne pollen levels are higher, increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates can be observed. These results were determined by a large-scale study conducted by an international team headed by researchers at the Technical...

Prof. Lothar H. Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute.

Munich Talk with the President of the Robert Koch Institute

The President of the Robert Koch Institute will speak at the Munich Talks, hosted by the Bavarian School of Public Policy (HfP) / TUM School of Governance, on March 11. Prof. Lothar H. Wieler will offer insights into the...

Ulrike Protzer is a Professor for Virology at TUM and spokesperson for the Bavarian alliance "FOR-COVID".

Covid-19: Insights into current research

The pandemic has shown how central science is for many areas of society: researchers are creating new knowledge about the virus, they are developing vaccines and treatment options, and they are advising politicians and...

Prof. Alena Buyx heads the Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine at TUM and has been Chair of the German Ethics Council since Spring 2020.

Fair allocation in times of pandemic

At present Germany's elderly are being given priority for Covid-19 vaccination. But what happens when only minimal research data is available on the effects new vaccines have on the elderly? Such circumstances should play a...