The world is currently grappling to fight against the coronavirus or COVID-19 as the deadly novel virus has infected over 15.5 million people and claimed the lives of over 633,000 people worldwide till now. Now, as per a new study that was published in Nature, researchers have identified 21 existing drugs that stop the replication of the new coronavirus.
The study authored by a team of scientists led by Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., professor at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, analyzed one of the biggest collections of known drugs for the ability to stop the replication of the new coronavirus confirmed 100 molecules with antiviral activity in the laboratory tests.
21 Drugs to Treat Coronavirus
Out of these, 21 were found to be effective at concentrations that might be safely reached in patients. Four of the 21 compounds were synergistically working with remdesivir, a present medication used for COVID-19.
"Remdesivir has proven successful at shortening the recovery time for patients in the hospital, but the drug doesn't work for everyone who receives it. That's not good enough," Chanda stated. "As infection rates continue to rise in America and around the world, the urgency remains to find affordable, effective, and readily available drugs that can complement the use of remdesivir, as well as drugs that could be given prophylactically or at the first sign of infection on an outpatient basis."
For the research, the team performed extensive testing and validation studies, which include evaluating the drugs on the human lung biopsies that are infected with the novel virus, checking the drugs for synergies with remdesivir, and also establishing the response of the dose of the drug and the antiviral activity.
The scientists are testing the 21 compounds in small animal models and also mini lungs. If the studies are successful, the team will contact the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and discuss clinical trials to evaluate the drugs as treatment for the novel coronavirus.
"Based on our current analysis, clofazimine, hanfangchin A, apilimod and ONO 5334 represent the best near-term options for an effective COVID-19 treatment," Chanda claimed. "While some of these drugs are currently in clinical trials for COVID-19, we believe it's important to pursue additional drug candidates so we have multiple therapeutic options if SARS-CoV-2 becomes drug resistant."
The deadly novel virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times and is currently spreading like wildfire. The US is the worst affected nation followed by Brazil and India.