Drugs that can potentially be used in the treatment of COVID-19


According to the health news site Health Europa, scientists have discovered and counted a total of 200 drugs in circulation that can potentially be used in the treatment of COVID-19. Currently 40 of these are being tested (multi-stage) in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge (UK) focused on looking at proteins to determine which proteins are involved in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thereby determining which drugs have the potential to treat COVID-19. . The study was published in the journal Science Advances.

There are about 200 drugs in the treatment of COVID-19. Illustration

The researchers used a combination of computer biology and machine learning to create a comprehensive map of the proteins associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By using artificial intelligence (AI) to test this network, scientists were able to identify key proteins involved in the virus as well as the biological pathways that therapeutic drugs might target.

According to Professor Tony Kouzarides, director of the Milner Institute for Treatment at Cambridge University, who led the research team, by looking at a wide range of thousands of proteins that play a role in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, researchers have discovered and established a network of relationships among these proteins.

Then, Cambridge University scientists used the latest machine learning technology and computer modeling to study nearly 2,000 approved drugs and then identified 200 that could help treat COVID-19, according to the report. by Professor Kouzarides. 40 of these 200 drugs have entered clinical trials.

In testing a group of those 40 drugs with viral replication, the researchers found that there were 2 specific types – one for malaria and one used to treat rheumatoid arthritis – can inhibit viral replication.

The team used a form of artificial neural network analysis to categorize drugs depending on their role in the SARS-CoV-2 virus: those that target the virus from replicating, and those that block the virus from replicating. target the immune response. The scientists then selected a small group of drugs that target viral replication and tested them using cell lines derived from humans and non-human primates.

Of these, the scientists particularly noted are two drugs: sulfasalazine (used to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease) and proguanil (a malaria drug). The team found that the two drugs reduce the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cells, which has the potential to be used to prevent infection or treat COVID-19.

According to Dr Namshik Han at the Milner Institute for Therapeutics, the study provides information on the underlying mechanisms of COVID-19 and helps identify several promising drugs that could be used in the treatment or prevention of this infectious disease. . Dr Han said the researchers “hope this potential source of drugs will accelerate the development of new drugs against COVID-19”. He also believes that this research will be useful in promoting rapid responses to new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as other new pathogens that could cause future pandemics.

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In another development, the Institute of Chemistry – Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology has also successfully researched a new method for synthesizing Favipiravir in the laboratory. This is a drug intended for the treatment of COVID-19.

Currently, the research, licensing, production and vaccination of a number of vaccines such as Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson have contributed to effectively preventing the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the emergence of many new strains that are resistant to vaccines, antiviral drugs are an important complement to existing vaccines in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Favipiravir is a drug with a similar mechanism of action to remdesivir but is administered orally and was first used against Sar-Cov-2 in Wuhan. The drug is also approved for use in Italy, Japan, Russia and several other countries.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Tuyen – Director of the Institute of Chemistry said: Under the direction of the President of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the Institute of Chemistry has conducted research on synthesizing drugs to treat SARS-CoV-2.

The Institute has successfully researched a new and effective method of synthesizing Favipiravir in the laboratory. The research results of the Institute contribute to the joint efforts of Vietnamese scientists in researching drugs, vaccines and biological products for the prevention and control of COVID-19.

According to Prof. Tuyen, in the coming time, scientists of the Institute will continue to improve and scale up the process of synthesizing this drug and registering patents.

Research publications show that the synthesis of this drug requires 7-8 steps of reaction. However, the research team of the Institute of Chemistry, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology initially improved the method by shortening the drug synthesis process, with only three simple and effective reaction steps, from whether available in the country. As a result, the price is more reasonable, suitable for production conditions in Vietnam. Prof Tuyen said that the study was carried out from August 2020 with the desire to limit dependence on imported drugs.

Favipiravir in the world is currently in clinical trials in the treatment of COVID-19 up to phase 3, up to 97% effective. This drug is used in mild or moderate cases, prevents the disease from progressing to a more severe level, helps patients recover faster, and reduces the treatment burden by shortening the length of hospital stay. The drug helps to eliminate the virus early to limit the spread of the disease in the community.

An Duong (Th)

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