The work was led by Professor Sumit Chanda of the Sanford Burnham Medical Discovery Institute.
scientists have identified compounds in the ReFRAME drug reuse library through high-volume screening, which have been FDA approved for use in other diseases or extensive human safety testing.
based on the ability of these small molecule compounds to block the replication of the new coronavirus, the researchers found that 100 drug molecules were antiviral active in laboratory tests, 21 of which were effective at safe doses.
note that four of these compounds are in synergy with the current standard treatment, remdesivir.
in previous clinical studies, Redsyvir has been shown to shorten recovery time in hospitalized patients, but the drug is not effective for all patients.
Chanda said: "The priority remains to find effective, ready-made medicines available to patients to supplement with Redsyvir, or to give preventive medication to outpatients with signs of infection.
" In this study, the team conducted extensive testing and validation studies, including evaluating the drug in viral human pulmonary biopsy tissue, evaluating the synergy between the drug and Redsyvir, and establishing a dose-response relationship between the drug and antiviral activity.
Of the 21 drugs that effectively block viral replication, the scientists found that 13 had previously entered clinical trials for other adaptations and had the potential to be effective in patients with COVID-19 at safe doses;
Chanda said: "Based on our current analysis, clofazamine, hanfangchin A, apilimod (treating autoimmune diseases) and ONO5334 (a potential drug for osteoporosis) are the best near-term options for treating COVID-19.
While some drugs are in clinical trials for COVID-19, we think it's important to look for more candidates because if SARS-CoV-2 is resistant, we have a variety of treatment options.
significantly expanded possible treatment options for PATIENTs with COVID-19, especially since many drug molecules already have clinical safety data in humans.
this provides the scientific community with a larger pool of potential therapeutic drugs.
," Added Professor Chanda.
are currently testing all 21 compounds in animal models and "mini lungs" that simulate human tissue, or human lung organs.
if the results are positive, the team said it would discuss follow-up clinical trials with the FDA to assess the effectiveness of coVID-19.
: (1) Laura Riva et al., (2020) Discovery of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drugs through large-scale compound repurposing. Nature. Doi: s2? Nature study identifies 21 existing drugs that can treat COVID-19. Retrieved 2020-07-25, from.