In a recent study published in Pharmaceutics, researchers found a new way to identify existing medicines that could be applied to treat COVID-19.
This mathematical model can compare the three-dimensional structure of the target proteins of known medicines to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins.
The study is from the CEU Cardenal Herrera University.
In the study, the team looked at the 1,825 medicines approved by the FDA, the American Food and Drug Administration. According to the Drug Bank repository, these medicines are connected to 27,830 protein structures.
In their analysis, the researchers compared the topological structure of these thousands of proteins available in the Protein Data Bank with the 23 proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The research team was able to identify 16 medicines that act against three proteins as their therapeutic target.
Among these 16 medicines are rutin, a flavonoid that inhibits platelet aggregation; dexamethasone, a glucocorticoid that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressor; and vemurafenib, a kinase inhibitor suited for adult patients with melanoma.
With these medicines now identified, they will now have to be subjected to clinical studies to confirm the possible efficiency detected by the mathematical model and to determine the best combination of them to treat the symptoms caused by COVID-19.
Dexamethasone is currently one of the most used medicines that has the most success treating advanced COVID-19 disease.
The researchers also highlight the future use of this new strategy to reposition medicines.
This strategy could be applied both to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its new variants, as well as to any new viruses that may appear in the future, identifying their proteins and comparing their topological structure to that of the target proteins in known medicines, using this same strategy.
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