A new study showed that a drug used as an anti-coagulant component has antiviral effects on the novel coronavirus that's almost 600 times stronger than most spoke of 'Remdesivir.' It might help in putting an end to the pandemic.
Institut Pasteur Korea announced it on Thursday that nafamostat, a drug used as a blood anticoagulant component and also used for treating acute pancreatitis is found to have antiviral effects against the novel coronavirus. The research has been published as a preprint in bioRxiv.
The Korean institute is on drug recreation research being conducted since February in discovering drugs for COVID-19 treatments among those drugs which are already licensed or are under development, reported Business Korea.
The drug nafamostat, according to the institute research showed the strongest antiviral impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection-causing COVID-19. This drug is one of 3,000 drugs analyzed by cell culture experiments.
Nafamostat, 600 times stronger than Remdesivir
The extent of its efficacy is found to be almost 600 times stronger than Gilead's Remdesivir that was developed for Ebola treatment, also approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in treating coronavirus disease.
The institute referred to a recent German study that says a protease called TMPRSS2 acts when the spike protein activates as the novel coronavirus enters a cell. Thus, the institute studied nafamostat, a TMPRSS2 protease inhibiting drug. Researchers used human lung cells directly to find out the antiviral effect of the drug while comparing the results with others.
Removes Blood Clots
Nafamostat, being an anticoagulant, removes thrombosis (blood clots) associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and would effectively improve the symptoms related with COVID-19 induced pneumonia, the researchers said.
"Napamostat, which has several hundred times stronger antiviral effects at the cellular level than Remdesivir, will contribute to putting an end to the COVID-19 crisis," said Ryu Wang-sik, the director of Institut Pasteur Korea. So far the coronavirus pathogen has killed more than 313,700 and has infected more than 4,743,180 as of today.