Drug used against Alcohol-addiction may be key to COVID -19 cure: Russian study

Drug used against Alcohol-addiction may be key to COVID -19 cure: Russian study

  • The global hunt for a cure to COVID-19 infection continues to be at the forefront of efforts of the scientific community across the world.
  • The latest positive development comes from Russia, where a group of Researchers at HSE University and Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry have identified two drugs effective in stopping the multiplication capacity of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 causing virus.

The results, published in Mendeleev Communications journal, showed that two drugs – Disulfiram, a treatment drug for alcoholism, and Neratinib, a drug used to treat breast cancer – were able to 'switch off' the enzyme vital for a protein on SARS-CoV-2’s surface, and thus were able to stop the reproduction of the virus. Scientists will get ahead with Disulfiram as for the clinical trial from September 1st onward, since Neratinib could not prove its potency against the live nature of virus.

Both the drugs, however, were found to be inhibiting the action of protease (Mpro) enzyme, and thus could put a full stop in further infection in the body. Disulfiram was found fighting COVID-19 symptoms such as the significant decrease in the concentration of antioxidants in the body, a deficiency that may lead to severe infection of COVID-19 in the body.

The latest tests performed on July 27, 2020 at the US-based Reaction Biology Corp, found Disulfiram "really inhibitory" in nature against the COVID-19, whereas Neratinib was found insufficient for clinical use. From September 1st onwards, the researchers will start the drug trials in-vitro and will start the experimental treatment of COVID-19 patients with the drug.

Disulfiram available in India

Among both the drugs, Disulfiram, a drug used to treat alcoholism, is easily available in India with a tablet of it costing no more than Rs 3 in retail. Four of the ten biggest makers of the drug are based in India, implying a self-sufficient nature of the drug as far as supply in India is concerned.

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