Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged in late 2002 and was controlled in July 2003 by public health measures. Its causative agent, SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) jumped from an animal reservoir to humans and has the potential to re-emerge. Following the sequencing of the genetic code and the deciphering of some of the functions of its proteins, including the cellular receptors and host proteins that participate in the life cycle of the virus, promising lead drugs and new uses of old drugs have been discovered. Patent applications for cathepsin L inhibitors have taken new relevance because of the role of cathepsin L in the entry of SARS-CoV into host cells. Likewise, patent applications for SARS-CoV protease inhibitors and interferon and mismatched dsRNA also need to be watched for potential application in treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV. Here, we review the recent advances and inventions that target SARS-CoV infection in humans.
Keywords: Severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS, SARS coronavirus, SARS-CoV, anti-infective, anti-viral, main protease, 3CLpro, polymerase, helicase