Developmental Biology - Corona Virus Defence|
Existing Drugs Give Some Defence Against Coronavirus
Broad-spectrum antiviral agents could be a possible quick response to the potential COVID-19 pandemic...
The number of people infected with the new corona virus continues to skyrocket, with more than 80000 cases worldwide as of the end of February. But there's no vaccine or cure in sight, meaning that doctors can do little more than offer supportive treatment to the very sick and hope their bodies can survive the infection.
Now, however, a coalition of European researchers says that already approved drugs might hold the key to treating the new virus. Their findings have been published as a pre-proof in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
"Drug repurposing is a strategy for generating additional value from an existing drug by targeting diseases other than that for which it was originally intended. For example, teicoplanin, oritavancin, dalbavancin and monensin are approved antibiotics that have been shown to inhibit corona - and other viruses in the laboratory."
Denis Kainov, senior author, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Kainov and co-authors say these and other already tested "safe-in-human" broad-spectrum antiviral drugs are good candidates for treating the disease to start with, given there are currently no treatments for the new coronavirus illness, which is called COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
"The virus "can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
The advantage of repurposing a drug is that all of the details surrounding the drug development are already known, from the chemical synthesis steps and manufacturing processes to information regarding the different phases of clinical testing.
Therefore, repositioning of launched or even failed drugs to viral diseases provides unique translational opportunities, including a substantially higher probability of success to market as compared with developing new virus-specific drugs and vaccines, and a significantly reduced cost and timeline to clinical availability."
WHO researchers reviewed information on the discovery and development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents (BSAAs) — drugs that target viruses from two or more different viral families.
They summarized 120 drugs they found had already been shown to be safe for human use and created a database, which is freely accessible.
Thirty-one of these were found to be possible candidates for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 infections. They also found clinical investigations have recently begun on five possible drug candidates to treat the virus causing COVID-19.
According to WHO Research:
"In the future, BSAAs will have global impact by decreasing morbidity and mortality from viral and other diseases, maximizing the number of healthy life years, improving the quality of life of infected patients and decreasing the costs of patient care."
Viral diseases are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. Virus-specific vaccines and antiviral drugs are the most powerful tools to combat viral diseases. However, broad-spectrum antiviral agents (BSAAs, i.e. compounds targeting viruses belonging to two or more viral families) could provide additional protection of general population from emerging and reemerging viral diseases reinforcing the arsenal of available antiviral options. Here, we reviewed discovery and development of BSAAs and summarized the information on 119 safe-in-man agents in freely accessible database (https://drugvirus.info/). Future and ongoing pre-clinical and clinical studies will increase the number of BSAAs, expand spectrum of their indications, and identify drug combinations for treatment of emerging and re-emerging viral infections as well as co-infections.
Andersen PI, Ianevski A, Lysvand H, Vitkauskiene A, Oksenych V, Bjøras M, Telling K, Lutsar I, Dampis U, Irie Y, Tenson T, Kantele A, Kainov DE.
The authors thank Katarzyna Kolasa for illustrations. This manuscript has been released as a pre-print (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0144.v4).
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This study was supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the Mobilitas Pluss Project MOBTT39 (to D.K.).
Return to top of page.
Mar 6 2020 Fetal Timeline Maternal Timeline News
Safe-in-man broad-spectrum antiviral agents and coronaviruses they inhibit, from https://drugvirus.info/ website. Different shadings indicate different development status of BSAAs. Grey shading indicates that the antiviral activity has not been either studied or reported.