New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: In another development related to the coronavirus drugs, a global team of scientists has recognised 21 existing drugs that can prevent the replication of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the deadly COVID-19.    

The study, published in the journal ‘Nature’, stated that four of these compounds were found to be working synergistically with Remdesivir, which is currently served to patients for COVID-19 treatment.    

"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," said senior author of the study Sumit Chanda, Professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California, US.

"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," he added.


The research team performed extensive testing, and also evaluate the drugs on human lung biopsies that were infected with COVID-19. They also evaluated the drugs for synergies with remdesivir, and established dose-response relationships between the drugs and antiviral activity.

Of the 21 drugs identified to stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, 13 of them were found to have entered clinical trials for other indications and are effective at concentrations that could potentially be safely achieved in Covid-19 patients.


Two are already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration: astemizole (allergies), clofazamine (leprosy) and remdesivir has received emergency use authorization from the agency (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 the possible therapeutic options for Covid-19 patients, especially since many of the molecules already have clinical safety data in humans. This report provides the scientific community with a larger arsenal of potential weapons that may help bring the ongoing global pandemic to heel”, said Chanda.

The researchers are currently testing all 21 compounds in small animal models and "mini lungs," or lung organoids, that mimic human tissue. If these studies are favourable, 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 near-term options for an effective Covid-19 treatment," Chanda further said.

"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."


(With IANS Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan