Four possible drugs to treat COVID-19
An Indian-origin researcher in the US and his team have identified four antiviral drugs -- including remdesivir that was originally developed to treat Ebola -- which may be effective in inhibiting the replication of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Kamlendra Singh, an associate professor at the University of Missouri in the US, and his colleagues used computer-aided drug design to examine the effectiveness of remdesivir, 5-fluorouracil, ribavirin and favipiravir in treating COVID-19. The study, published in the journal Pathogens, found that all four drugs were effective in inhibiting, or blocking, the coronavirus' RNA proteins from making genomic copies of the novel coronavirus.
- As researchers, we have an obligation to search for possible treatments given that so many people are dying from this virus.
- These antiviral drugs, if they turn out to be effective, all have some limitations. But in the midst of a global pandemic, they are worth taking a deeper look at because based on our research, we have reason to believe that all of these drugs could potentially be effective in treating COVID-19.
- The researchers noted that SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, like all viruses, can mutate and develop resistance to antiviral drugs.
- Further testing in a laboratory setting and in patients is needed to better evaluate how the proposed treatments interact with the virus' RNA polymerase.
- Our goal is to help doctors by providing options for possible treatments of COVID-19, and to ultimately contribute in improving the health outcomes of patients suffering from infectious disease.