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Researchers Identify 21 Existing Medications That Could Treat Covid-19


NEW YORK: A global team of scientists has identified 21 existing drugs that stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
In particular, four of these compounds were found to work synergistically with remdesivir, a current standard of care treatment for Covid-19, the study published in the journal Nature said.
“Remdesivir has been shown to be successful in shortening patients’ recovery time in hospital, but the drug doesn’t work for everyone who receives it. That’s not good enough,” said study lead author Sumit Chanda, professor of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California, USA.
“As infection rates continue to rise in the United States and around the world, it remains urgent to find affordable, effective, and readily available medications that can complement the use of remdesivir, as well as medications that could be given prophylactically or at the first sign of infection on an outpatient basis. ”
In the study, the investigation The team conducted extensive tests and validation studies, including evaluating the drugs in human lung biopsies that were infected with the virus.
They also evaluated drugs for synergies with remdesivir, and established dose-response relationships between drugs and antiviral activity.
Of the 21 drugs that were effective in blocking viral replication, the scientists found that 13 had previously entered clinical trials for other indications and are effective at concentrations or doses that could be safely achieved in patients with Covid-19.
Two are already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: astemizole (allergies), clofazamine (leprosy), and remdesivir have received the agency’s emergency use authorization (Covid-19).
Four worked synergistically with remdesivir, including the chloroquine derivative hanfangchin A (tetrandrine), an antimalarial drug that has reached phase 3 clinical trials.
“This study significantly expands potential therapeutic options for Covid-19 patients, especially since many of the molecules already have clinical safety data in humans,” said Chanda.
“This report provides the scientific community with a larger arsenal of potential weapons that can help jump-start the current global pandemic.”
Researchers are currently testing the 21 compounds in small animal models and “mini-lungs,” or lung organoids, that mimic human tissue.
If these studies are favorable, the team will approach the US FDA to discuss clinical trials evaluating the drugs as treatments for Covid-19.
“Based on our current analysis, clofazimine, hanfangchin A, apilimod, and ONO 5334 represent the best short-term options for effective Covid-19 treatment,” Chanda said.
“While some of these drugs are currently in clinical trials for Covid-19, we believe it is important to search for additional drug candidates, so we have multiple therapeutic options if SARS-CoV-2 becomes drug resistant.”
The drugs were first identified through high-throughput screening of more than 12,000 drugs from the ReFRAME Drug Reuse Collection, the most comprehensive collection of drug reuse compounds that has been approved by the FDA for other diseases or is It has been extensively tested for human security. .

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