Already approved drugs may hold the key to treating new coronavirus

Already approved drugs may hold the key to treating new coronavirus

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus continues to skyrocket, with more than 80000 cases worldwide as of the end of February. But there's no vaccine or cure in sight, meaning that doctors can do little more than offer supportive treatment to the very sick and hope their bodies can survive the infection. Now, however, a coalition of European researchers says that already approved drugs might hold the key to treating the new virus. Their findings have been published as a pre-proof in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases . Drug repurposing is a strategy for generating additional value from an existing drug by targeting diseases other than that for which it was originally intended. For example, teicoplanin, oritavancin, dalbavancin and monensin are approved antibiotics that have been shown to inhibit corona- and other viruses in the laboratory." Denis Kainov, the senior author on the paper and an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Kainov and his co-authors say that these and other already tested "safe-in-man" broad-spectrum antiviral drugs are good candidates for treating the disease to start with, given that there are currently no treatments for the new coronavirus, which is called COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO says the virus "can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus." Related Stories



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