Researchers identify nine possible drugs that may help treat Covid-19

Ever since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, experts have constantly tried to repurpose drugs to alleviate the risk of severe complications induced by the coronavirus. Scientists have found many promising leads and many existing drugs to treat patients and bring down the severe complications of the infection. Now, in a new development, experts have identified nine potential new Covid-19 treatments, including three, that was already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating other diseases. Also Read – Can your fancy mask protect you against Covid? Layering, fitting and material matters

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For the study published in the journal Cell Reports, scientists screened around 3,059 drugs and drug-like molecules used to inhibit the replication of Covid-19, causing coronavirus. The library also included 1000 FDA-approved drugs and more than 2,000 drug-like molecules that have shown activity against defined biological targets. Three out of the nine drugs found to replace SARS-CoV-2 replication in respiratory cells already have FDA approval, including the transplant-rejection drug cyclosporine, cancer drug dacomitinib and the antibiotic salinomycin. Also Read – Covid vaccine in the third trimester may trigger a strong immune response in newborn babies

Researcher Sara Cherry from the University of Pennsylvania said, “Our discoveries here suggest new avenues for therapeutic interventions against Covid-19, and also underscore the importance of testing candidate drugs in respiratory cells.” Also Read – “4th Wave In Delhi” warns Arvind Kejriwal: Asks for Mass Immunization in the State

The researchers tested all of these drugs to find if they are able to curb SARS-CoV-2 replication in infected cells, without causing much toxicity. After the analysis, they identified and validated several compounds that worked in the monkey kidney cells and 23 that worked in the human liver cells. They found that Hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir drugs were both effective in both cell types.

Nine Possible Covid Drugs 

Since SARS-CoV-2 is mainly a respiratory virus and is thought to initiate infections via airway-lining cells, the researchers sought a respiratory cell type that they could infect experimentally with the virus. For this purpose, they identified Calu-3, which is derived from human airway-lining cells. The researchers only found that nine out of the respiratory-derived cells to test the antiviral compounds identified through the human liver cell screen. The nine potential drugs did not include hydroxychloroquine.

Among the nine antivirals that could help treat respiratory infections include salinomycin, a veterinary antibiotic that is also being investigated as an anticancer drug; the kinase enzyme inhibitor dacomitinib, an anticancer drug; bemcentinib, another kinase inhibitor now being tested against cancers; the antihistamine drug ebastine; and cyclosporine, an immune-suppressing drug commonly used to prevent the immune rejection of transplanted organs.

(with inputs from IANS) 

Published : April 3, 2021 3:19 pm




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