List of promising drugs against COVID-19 leads to new treatment trial
Written by Timothy Huzar on July 30, 2020 — Fact checked by Rita Ponce, Ph.D.
Researchers at Yale University are about to trial A new COVID-19 treatment, following the discovery of drugs that scientists think will be effective against SARS-CoV-2.
Share on PinterestA multi-institutional team of researchers has pinpointed 13 drugs that they argue could be effective against COVID-19. This finding forms the basis of further treatment trials.
The discovery of drugs that may be effective at inhibiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has spurred researchers at Yale University in New Haven, CT, to trial a new treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The list of possibly effective drugs appears in the journal Nature and derives from an analysis of over 12,000 potential candidates.
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The importance of repurposed drugs
The sudden emergence and rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, coupled with its significant mortality rates, has forced governments worldwide to impose numerous emergency measures that have had a significant effect on social, economic, cultural, and political practices.
While these emergency measures have been effective at reducing the infection rate, in the absence of a vaccine or effective treatments, governments will likely continue to impose them as the virus begins to re-spread following the easing of the emergency measures.
Although researchers worldwide are making great efforts to develop an effective vaccine, they may not be able to attain one until next year.
Furthermore, the development of new antiviral treatments can, according to the authors of a 2020 article in Nature, take more than 10 years.
One way of responding to this extended time frame and the severe adverse effects on society of periodically imposing emergency measures is to look to drugs that have received approval to treat other diseases.
The current leading COVID-19 antiviral — remdesivir — is one such repurposed drug. However, given the novelty of SARS-CoV-2, research on effective antivirals is still ongoing.
Scientists might still identify more effective previously available antivirals, or other drugs that, when used in combination with other antivirals, increase overall efficacy.
Moreover, given the global nature of the pandemic, the availability of alternative antivirals may be valuable where demand stretches the supply of drugs, even if their effectiveness varies.