New Drugs Found Effective Against Covid-19
Two drugs used to treat a genetic disorder called Gaucher’s disease have been found effective against coronavirus by the defense Ministry-run Institute for Biological Research.
The US Food and Drug Administration has already approved one of these drugs, Cerdelga, and the approval process for the second drug, Venglustat, is going on. The defense ministry said it would be fast-tracked for use in Covid-19 patients.
The two drugs need to be taken together in the proposed antiviral treatment. The ministry said the drugs are currently being tested for their effectiveness in treating animals infected with the novel coronavirus.
The Institute for Biological Research published the results of the trial testing of two Gaucher’s disease drugs on the coronavirus on May 26, 2020.
Though the article is yet to be peer-reviewed, the Ness Ziona based defense laboratory in Israel, already published the results of a study of the treatment on mice.
The use of a combination of drugs inhibited the replication of viruses in mice. The treatment was also found to work against three other viruses, in addition to the novel coronavirus. They were West Nile virus, Neuroinvasive Sindbis virus, and Influenza A virus.
Once the drugs are clinically approved, they could be used to treat various viral diseases effectively and prevent future outbreaks of new viruses.
According to the article, the drugs when used to treat the genetic disorder, Gaucher’s disease created glycosphingolipids molecules that seem to have antiviral properties.
Since the outbreak of the disease, the Institute for Biological Research has been deeply involved in the development of a vaccine and treatment for Covid-19.
The laboratory had completed vaccine trials successfully on rodents last week. More trials will be conducted in both animals and humans. The report says the vaccine will be ready in a year.
The preliminary stage in developing medicines is the testing in rodents. If successful, the testing will begin on other animals and later in humans to study the effectiveness and side effects of the drug.
The laboratory also isolated eight antibodies from the blood of Covid-19 patients that could help in the development of a treatment, earlier this month. An effective treatment could be developed by combining these antibodies.
Even if everything goes perfectly, a vaccine will take 12 to 18 months to develop, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top expert.
Millions of people are infected by the novel coronavirus, and it has killed hundreds of thousands of people across the world. Around 16,700 people have been confirmed with Covid-19 in Israel, with 281 deaths. The two new drugs found effective against Covid-19 would hopefully help in containing the spread of deadly Covid-19.