Scientists from the University of Chicago found the drug masitinib may be effective in treating COVID-19.
They found the drug inhibited the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in human cell cultures and led to much lower viral loads.
They also found that the drug could be effective against many types of coronaviruses and picornaviruses.
Because of the way it inhibits replication, it has also been shown to remain effective in the face of COVID-19 variants.
The research is published in Science and was conducted by Prof. Savas Tay et al.
Masitinib is used in the treatment of mast cell tumors in animals, specifically dogs. Since its introduction in November 2008 it has been distributed under the commercial name Masivet.
It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adult patients with mast cell activation syndrome in 2021 October.
In the study, the team screened a library of 1,900 clinically safe drugs against OC43, a coronavirus that causes the common cold and can be studied under regular biosafety conditions.
They then tested the top 30 drug candidates in cell cultures against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and revealed nearly 20 drugs that inhibit SARS-CoV-2.
They also found that of the drug candidates, masitinib completely inhibited further viral replication.
It has been shown to be safe in humans but does cause side effects, including gut disorders and could potentially raise a patient’s risk for heart disease.
the researchers tested the drug in a mouse model. They found that it reduced the SARS-CoV-2 viral load by more than 99% and reduced inflammatory cytokine levels.
In parallel, the researchers also began to test the drug in cell cultures against other viruses and found that it was also effective against picornaviruses, which include Hepatitis A, polio, and rhinoviruses that cause the common cold.
They also tested it in cell cultures against three SARS-CoV-2 variants, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, and found that it worked equally well against them, since it binds to the protease and not to the surface of the virus.
The team says inhibitors of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, like masitinib, could be a new potential way to treat COVID patients, especially in the early stages of the disease.
If you care about COVID, please read studies about drug combo that could effectively fight COVID-19, and vegetables and coffee could protect against COVID-19.
For more information about Covid, please see recent studies that COVID-19 booster shots prompt stronger, longer protection than original shots, and results showing breakthrough COVID infections very mild for vaccinated people.
Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.