Lianhuaqingwen (LHQW) capsule, a herb medicine product, has been clinically proved to be effective in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia treatment. However, human exposure to LHQW components and their pharmacological effects remain largely unknown. The authors of this study aimed to determine human exposure to LHQW components. Based on the human exposure analysis, several ACE2 binding components with good enzyme inhibitory effects were screened out by ACE2 biochromatography. The results obtained by the authors demonstrated chemical and biochemical evidence for exploring molecular mechanisms of therapeutic effects of LHQW capsule for the treatment of COVID-19 patients based on the components exposed to humans.
The research also demonstrated the utility of the human exposure-based approach to identifying pharmaceutically active components in Chinese herb medicines.