A team of investigators from the Republic of China has discovered that 6 drugs previously approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other indications could be repurposed to treat or prevent COVID-19. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Using FDA-approved drugs saves time — the drugs don’t need to go through the FDA approval process again — making them available quickly to treat patients who need them.
The research shows that the investigators screened 2 large drug libraries cumulatively containing 3,769 FDA-approved drugs and found drugs that can inhibit 2 protein-cutting enzymes, called proteases, that are essential to the replication of SARS-CoV-2.
The assays for testing the drugs involved growing the virus in petri dishes, applying each drug to different petri dishes containing the virus, and then conducting plaque reduction assays to determine each drug’s effectiveness. The original outbreak strain, clade S, was used in the assays. (“Clade” is a technical term for a familial group.)
The researchers, led by corresponding author Po-Huang Liang, PhD, also plan to test the drugs against the dominant GR strain, which was the first variant to emerge, in late January or February, 2020, and the recent, highly contagious United Kingdom strain. Dr. Liang is research fellow and professor at the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Their research also enables the investigators to better understand how coronavirus proteases recognize their substrates during replication. That will help them tweak the drugs they identified to be more effective inhibitors against the protease.
“Despite the variations of the virus strains emerging over the years, considering the significance of the 3CL protease in the viral replication, and the relatively low likelihood for this protein target to mutate, we aim to develop a broad spectrum of antiviral drugs using our platform, helping to prevent the emergence of future pathogenic SARS-CoV strains,” said Dr. Liang.
Image Credit: Envato / Amanda Scott
Since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the world, scientists have clamored to develop vaccines to prevent the spread and medicines that will cure the sick. But a virus’ main goal is to replicate and [...]
The highly transmissible delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus causing the disease COVID-19, is now present in 124 countries and will become the dominant strain globally in the coming months as it is outcompeting [...]
Scientists have backed proposals for Covid boosters in the autumn after blood tests on hundreds of people revealed that protective antibodies can wane substantially within weeks of second vaccine shots being given. Falls in [...]
Researchers in the United States have conducted a study showing that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna generate a coordinated adaptive immune response that is capable of eliciting recall [...]
CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, played an important role in evaluating heat-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine formulations developed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and biotech start-up Mynvax—against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Published [...]
Podcast – Nanovisaging 2040 How Synergies between Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, and AI might Benefit Humanity
Frank Boehm (NanoApps Medical Inc. Founder) in discussion with Nana Kay in a Wealth Secrets podcast. EP 19. Nanovisaging 2040. From Nana Kay: Nanovisaging 2040: How Synergies between Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, and AI might Benefit [...]
Canada, like several other countries, has been mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines for weeks amid safety concerns over the AstraZeneca shot. On Monday, the chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against that approach, calling [...]
Scientists have harnessed CRISPR gene-editing technology to block the replication of the novel coronavirus in human cells — an approach that could one day serve as a new treatment for COVID-19. However, the study was performed [...]
A recent study by scientists from Japanese universities has shown that the shape of cell-derived nanoparticles, known as "extracellular vesicles" (EVs), in body fluids could be a biomarker for identifying types of cancer. In [...]
An important lesson for vaccine design Australian scientists researching how our immune system responds to COVID-19 have revealed that those infected by early variants in 2020 produced sustained antibodies, however, these antibodies are not [...]
1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 185 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4 million. More than 3.29 [...]
The World Health Organization (WHO) has added another COVID strain to its list of coronavirus variants to keep an eye on: the COVID-19 Lambda variant. This particular variant has now spread to more than two dozen [...]
In a recent study conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA, scientists have identified six vaccine breakthrough cases caused by the delta variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A [...]
A new Covid-19 strain that is much more dangerous than the Delta variant has been detected in more than 30 countries in the past four weeks, says the Health Ministry. "The Lambda strain was [...]
Weakened lungs and immune systems make people increasingly vulnerable, warn scientists. A rash of cases of a rare “black fungus” infection affecting thousands of critically ill Covid patients in India caused alarm last month. [...]