Medicines used to treat coronavirus infections in cats may be effective against Covid-19: study

Medicines used to treat coronavirus infections in cats may be effective against Covid-19: study

TORONTO: A drug used to treat a deadly coronavirus infection in cats could potentially be an effective treatment against SARS-COVI 2, according to a study.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, paved the way for human clinical trials of the drug, the inhibition of a protease called GC376.
“This drug has the potential to work in humans, so we are encouraged that it will be an effective treatment for patients with Covid 19,” said John Lemax, a professor at the University of Alberta in Canada.
However, researchers say clinical trials will need to run their course before anyone is convinced that the drug is safe and effective in treating COVID-19 in humans.
In cats, at least, GC-376 works by interfering with the virus’s ability to replicate, thus eliminating infection.
The drug’s origins were first studied after the outbreak of acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, and it was developed by further veterinary researchers who showed that it causes malignancies. ۔
Lemiox and colleagues first tested two variants of the fly drug against SARS-Co-2 proteins in test tubes and with the virus directly in human cell lines.
They then crystallized different types of drugs together with viral proteins.
The researchers determined the direction of the cat’s drug because it binds to an active site on the SARS-Co-2 protein, and shows how it prevents viral replication.
“This will allow us to develop more effective drugs,” Lamex said, adding that the team will continue to monitor changes in the inhibitor to make it fit even better inside the virus.
Anna Cohen, of the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, said she was excited about the drug’s effectiveness.
“Unless an effective vaccine can be developed, such drugs are included in our Code 19 treatment,” Cohen said.
“We are delighted to learn of these important findings and look forward to learning the results of clinical trials,” he said.

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