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COVID-19 Study: These Existing Drugs Can Kill Coronavirus Effectively


Since the start of the epidemic, scientists throughout the world have been searching for a cure for COVID-19.

While the COVID-19 vaccines are the greatest means to prevent the disease, treatments for those who do become infected are in short supply.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science last year, researchers discovered several pharmaceutical candidates that are already being used for other purposes—including one dietary supplement—that have been proven to block or decrease SARS-CoV2 infection in cells.

The research was conducted at the University of Michigan. Jonathan Sexton, Ph.D., one of the researchers, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in children and adolescents.

In the study, the group employed artificial intelligence-powered picture analysis of human cell lines infected with the new coronavirus.

The cells were exposed to more than 1,400 different FDA-approved medicines and compounds before or after viral infection, and tested, resulting in 17 distinct hits.

Remdesivir, one of the few FDA-approved COVID-19 therapies for hospitalized patients, was among them. Remdesivir is a third-generation antiviral medicine that inhibits viral RNA polymerase from using incomplete genomes to replicate new viruses.

The researchers looked at the effectiveness of several chemical compounds in a variety of cells, such as stem-cell-derived human lung cells, in order to mimic SARS-CoV2 infection of the respiratory system.

Lactoferrin, a protein found in human breast milk that is also available over-the-counter as a dietary supplement derived from cow’s milk, showed anti-viral activity at low dosages (nine), suggesting it may be an effective treatment for the flu.

The researchers are now getting ready to begin clinical trials on the drug, which will examine its ability to lower viral loads and inflammation in people with SARS-CoV2 infection.

The trials are adding to the ever-growing list of repurposed drug tests.

The researchers said that other drug repurposing research have identified different chemicals with the potential to treat SARS-CoV2 over time.

The researchers also discovered a class of chemicals called MEK-inhibitors, which are typically used to treat cancer, that appear to exacerbate SARS-CoV2 infection.


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