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Coronavirus Treatment: Scientists Repurpose Drugs Against Covid-19

The world is desperately looking forward to a vaccine to help as a coronavirus treatment and prevention. Meanwhile, researchers identified three old drugs in the latest study that can be used as a new treatment for Covid-19. These drugs can help treat infection in the early stage. 

The findings of this study were published recently in  ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science.

The coronavirus pandemic not only affected the physical health of people but their mental health as well. The virus has caused 1,150,000 deaths so far in different regions of the world. Also, the people who recover from Covid-19 live with lifelong health issues and complications.

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Experts are rushing to develop a coronavirus treatment to control the pandemic. However, it does not seem that the vaccine will be available this year. The vaccine goes through several trials that confirm its safety and efficacy in humans. Meanwhile, scientists are looking for alternative treatments to keep the infection under control for the time being.

In the latest study, scientists utilized the ligand-based virtual screening (LBVS) technique to identify drugs suitable for coronavirus treatment. Several studies suggest that hydroxychloroquine helps eliminate coronavirus infection. However, the scientists found the drug was only effective in a laboratory setting. 

Researchers identified three new drugs in the latest study that already existed in the database. These include Nebivolol, which is a medication for blood pressure, amodiaquine, which is a drug against malaria, and zuclopenthixol which is an anti-psychotic drug. 

The researchers suggest testing these drugs in clinical trials to prove their efficacy against Covid-19. Also, they mentioned using these drugs in combination with favipiravir or remdesivir.

If the researchers prove these drugs effective against the lethal virus, it can prove to be a breakthrough for this year. Scientists are struggling to develop a successful coronavirus vaccine but many of them fail in clinical trials. Even though none of the drugs proved effective in clinical trials so far, these drugs with a combination of other medications might work.

The scientists used an alternative approach to identify these drugs instead of the conventional one. Usually, scientists utilized High Throughput Screening (HTS) to repurpose already existing drugs. This process helps them identify drugs much quicker as compared to manually going through the whole database. 

The alternative approach of using LBVS for this study helped scientists fill a gap and identify not one or two but three such drugs that might have the potential to eliminate coronavirus. This study can help the scientific community look further into coronavirus treatment. 

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Health experts might utilize these already available medications in clinical trials to help coronavirus patients. If found successful and effective, it can be prosperous news for the world in this gloomy time. 

Experts suggest that vaccines take at least ten years to develop. If this is the fact, we might not have a vaccine for another decade and the pandemic can potentially turn into an endemic. The coronavirus pandemic has already caused irreparable loss to millions of lives around the world and effective treatment of this lethal virus is the need of the hour. 

Bisma Nasar

Bisma is a website content writer and loves to read about advancements in biotechnology and Molecular biology. Her area of expertise include Microbiology, Genetics and Health related niches.

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