A collaborative study led by the Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) of Monash University in Melbourne (Australia), together with the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), has shown in cell cultures that an antiparasitic medicine, called ivermectin and Available worldwide, it is capable of killing the new coronavirus in 48 hours.
“We have discovered that even a single dose could eliminate all the viral RNA within 48 hours and that, in addition, at 24 hours there is a really significant reduction,” said the researchers, whose work has been published in the journal ‘Antiviral Research ‘.
It is an antiparasitic drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also proven effective in vitro against a wide range of viruses, including HIV, dengue, influenza and the Zika. However, experts have warned that the tests have yet to be performed on people.
“Ivermectin is widely used and is considered a safe drug. We need to determine now if the dose that can be used in humans will be effective, that’s the next step. Right now when we have a global pandemic and there is no approved treatment, if we had a compound that was already available worldwide, it could help people sooner. Realistically, it will be a while before a widely available vaccine is applied, “experts have stressed.
Although the mechanism by which ivermectin works in the virus is unknown, it is likely, based on its action in other viruses, that it works to prevent the virus from “attenuating” the ability of host cells to kill it. The use of ivermectin to combat Covid-19 will depend on the results of further preclinical tests and, ultimately, clinical trials.
Encouraging reports from Spain
This Thursday a piece of hopeful news was released. Researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) have participated in an international study that has identified a drug in the clinical phase of tests that blocks the effects of Covid-19 in its early stage of infection. Scientists, led by Nuria Montserrat, have managed to decipher how SARS-CoV-2 interacts and infects human kidney cells and, from there, have seen the potential of the drug, as published in the journal ‘Cell’.
Along the same lines, the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, encouraged “the possibility that the vaccine will be discovered in Spain“. Specifically, he referred to the team of Luis Enjuanes and Isabel Sola in the coronavirus laboratory of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB), which “probably before the end of April” could begin animal testing. The complete virus vaccine they are working on is “one of the most advanced in the world or the most advanced” and “it has a much better chance of working the first time” because there is only one other group in the world that works in the same approach and both “are on par”.