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Hemp COVID treatment: OSU researcher expects key next step ‘very soon’

Scientists are getting ready to begin preclinical trials, the next step before the compounds can be tested in human trials.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University scientists expect to embark soon on preclinical trials of the hemp compounds that early-stage research showed could block the coronavirus from infecting cells.

A study they published earlier this month generated wide media attention, including from late-night comedians, and caused a stir in the hemp industry.

Now the scientists are getting ready to take the next step before the compounds can be tested in human trials — preclinical trials using cell cultures, animal models, or both — the university said in a news release Monday.

Read more from the Portland Business Journal: 

Hemp extract could help fight COVID, Oregon researchers find

COVID study rocks Pacific Northwest hemp industry, raising hopes

“We need preclinical trials to prove the efficacy of what we discovered, and I think that will happen very soon, in the next few months,” Richard van Breemen, who led the study, said.

In their research, the OSU team used a special mass-spectrometry screening technique to identify three hemp compounds that could bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and variants, thus blocking it from entering cells. Working with scientists from Oregon Health and Science University, they found two of the compounds, CBDA and CBGA, effective against the live virus.

Read the full story at the Portland Business Journal.

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