Keeping it Holstered: A Novel Approach to Combating COVID-19

What if we could just prevent the spike protein from ever being able to interact with the body? 

Illustration of spike protein mechanism
Illustration of spike protein mechanism

That’s the question Dr. John Wise from the Drug Discovery Group at Southern Methodist University asked after looking at all the data and experimental results created from the molecular docking experiments being performed. 

HEWMEN is currently performing these molecular docking experiments across every machine that has the Cell app installed; you can check out what it looks like here

As we saw in the last update, the spike protein is what allows the virus to interact with our bodies. The spike actually lays down and hides until it finds its target.  Once the virus finds its target, it extends its spike revealing its weapon, and attacks our body. 

If we could prevent the spike from ever rising up, we could prevent it from injecting its genetic material into our cells and stop if from causing COVID-19 type symptoms. The red structure in the above illustration is the spike protein extended, looking for its target in the body.  The yellow portion is the part that actually attaches to our cells.  

Robocop Gun Holster GIF - Robocop GunHolster Gun GIFs

We believe there is an opportunity to find a compound that can bind to the virus and prevent it from ever being able to raise the spike and, thus, stop it from ever drawing its weapon to attack our bodies- essentially, keeping its spike holstered and harmless. 

Using everything we have learned over the past few weeks, we are now processing data looking for a compound that could stop the spike from extending as well as continuing to look for compounds that bind to the yellow portion, which can prevent the virus from interacting with the body as well.