Researchers identify 21 Existing Drugs for Coronavirus Treatments Photo: CGTN

Scientists identify 21 drugs for COVID-19 treatments

*4 drug compounds work with Remdesivir, a current standard-of-care treatment for the Coronavirus, says Researchers

*Development of an effective vaccine probably takes at least 12 to 18 months

*COVID-19 may not ever be eradicated, says Anthony Fauci, US top infectious disease expert

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As pharmaceutical companies worldwide are intensely focused on efforts at developing treatments for the fatal Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a study published in Nature identifies 21 existing drugs that scientists say can already significantly reduce its severity in the affected patients.

In a fresh study, an international team of scientists says there are plenty of existing drugs that may do the job as it were.

It was learnt that the scientists analysed drugs that had shown indications that they could block the replication of the virus causing COVID-19.

They narrowed down the list to 21 drugs that were effective against the virus at concentrations that could safely be given to Coronavirus patients.

Report further indicates that the scientists, led by Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, discovered that four drug compounds worked in concert with Remdesivir, a current standard-of-care treatment for the coronavirus.

Chanda said: “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.”

According to report, Remdesivir itself is a repurposed drug. It was developed by Gilead Sciences to treat ebola.

It was not effective at doing that, but it has shown good results in treating coronavirus patients when combined with plasma antibodies from recovered patients.

However, how effective and affordable are the drugs? The Nature study was designed to not only identify effective drugs but single out medications that are affordable. The researchers identified drugs that could be combined with Remdesivir to treat people with severe cases of the virus, as well as drugs that could be taken on an outpatient basis at the first appearance of symptoms.

Of the existing drugs that were effective at blocking viral replication, the scientists found the following:

13 have previously entered clinical trials for other indications and are effective at concentrations, or doses, that could potentially be safely achieved in COVID-19 patients.

Two are already FDA approved: Astemizole is used to treat allergies and Clofazamine is a leprosy medication.

Four worked synergistically with Remdesivir, including the Chloroquine derivative hanfangchin A (tetrandrine), an antimalarial drug that has reached Phase 3 clinical trials.

Still, experts opine that vaccine is still months away, as the researchers say their work can help expand current options for safely treating COVID-19.

“This report provides the scientific community with a larger arsenal of potential weapons that may help bring the ongoing global pandemic to heel,” Chanda stated.

In their study, the research team noted that the development of an effective vaccine will probably take at least 12 to 18 months. Approval of a vaccine has been known to take as long as 20 years.

The researchers say repurposing known drugs may offer the best chance to deal with the virus in the months ahead, making it much less of a health threat.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ (US) top infectious disease expert, has said that COVID-19 may not ever be eradicated.

Dr. Fauci’s latest remarks on the pandemic were said to be at odds with US President Donald Trump’s statements.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe COVID-19 will ever be completely wiped out.

The top infectious disease expert in an interview with TB Alliance Wednesday, July 22 had said: “I don’t really see us eradicating it.

Fauci added that he does believe health officials and world leaders might be able to bring the virus down to “low levels.”

“I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine, which I do hope and feel cautiously optimistic that we will get.

“I think when we put all three of those together, we will get control of this, whether it’s this year or next year. I’m not certain,” he said.

Nevertheless, President Trump believes Coronavirus will ‘disappear’

“The virus will disappear. It will disappear,” Trump said Tuesday during a White House briefing.

However, he added that the situation in the U.S. will probably “get worse before it gets better.”

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