Sumary of Existing drug may be effective in treating COVID-19:
- “Inhibitors of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, like masitinib, could be a new potential way to treat COVID patients, especially in early stages of the disease,” said Prof.
- A race to find COVID-19 treatments When COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020, Tay and Nir Drayman, a postdoctoral fellow who specializes in virology, began to think about how they could help.
- To search for a better treatment for the disease, they began by screening 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 gave the top 30 drug candidates to microbiology professor Glenn Randall, who tested them in cell cultures against the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory, a BSL-3 facility at Argonne National Laboratory.
- They found that of the drug candidates, masitinib completely inhibited the 3CL viral enzyme inside the cell, a fact that was confirmed by X-ray crystallography by Prof.
- That gave us a strong indication of how this drug works, and we became confident that it has a chance to work in humans.
- ” Nir Drayman Related StoriesThough masitinib is currently only approved to treat mast cell tumors in dogs, it has undergone human clinical trials for several diseases, including melanoma, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and asthma.
- It has been shown to be safe in humans but does cause side effects, including gastrointestinal disorders and edema, and could potentially raise a patient’s risk for heart disease.