12 April 2021

MIR-19 against coronavirus

The FMBA of Russia has received a patent for MIR-19, a drug for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Details about the development were told in the authoritative European magazine Allergy

FMBA Press Center

Rospatent has issued a patent to the State Scientific Center "Institute of Immunology" of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency for a combined drug with antiviral effect against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, developed on behalf of the head of the FMBA of Russia Veronika Skvortsova. The drug is called MIR-19. The abbreviation MIR stands for Small Interfering RNA.

The MIR-19 drug is intended for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 by inhalation or intranasal administration.

The authors of the patent were: Musa Khaitov, Igor Shilovsky, Ksenia Kozhikhova, Ilya Kofiadi, Valery Smirnov, Olesya Koloskova, Ilya Sergeev, Dmitry Trofimov, Viktor Trukhin, Veronika Skvortsova.

"MIR-19 is a unique drug based on the use of microRNAs. It is safe for humans, does not affect the human genome and immunity, but at the same time it "turns off" the copying (replication) of the virus and prevents the most severe forms of coronavirus infection, including prevents pneumonitis, acute respiratory distress syndromes against the background of coronavirus infection," said Veronika Skvortsova, head of the FMBA of Russia.

On April 10, the authoritative European scientific journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI, Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology) published an article by the scientific team of the State Scientific Center "Institute of Immunology" of the FMBA of Russia under the leadership of Director Musa Khaitov "Inhibition of reproduction of SARS-CoV-2 with a modified miRNA preparation in combination with a dendrimeric peptide".

"I am very glad that the broad professional community will be able to get acquainted with the results of our scientific research, on the basis of which a drug was developed for the inhalation treatment of patients with COVID-19," Musa Khaitov, Director of the Institute of Immunology of the FMBA of Russia.

The article describes a therapeutic strategy for COVID-19 based on the inhalation of modified miRNA in combination with a dendrimeric peptide.

Despite the fact that vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19 are becoming increasingly available, there is a need for specific forms of treatment. In their study, the authors evaluated the antiviral effect of miRNA against SARS-CoV-2 in in vitro and in vivo experiments.

Allergy is a monthly peer–reviewed medical journal covering the field of allergy and immunology, published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). Both original articles and reviews are published here. The editor–in-chief is Cesmi Akdis (University of Zurich). According to Journal Citation Reports, the impact factor of the journal for 2019-2020 is 8,706.

Currently, the first phase of the clinical trial of the drug has been completed, which proved its safety and good tolerability. The second phase of the drug study begins in people infected with SARS-CoV-2.

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