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Covid-19 Vaccine: Scientists Find Two Drugs Which Could Stop Coronavirus Spread

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher
Covid-19 Vaccine

Two anti-inflammatory drugs, from which one is prescribed for humans and another for animals, might inhibit a key enzyme in the replication or reproduction of the novel coronavirus that causes covid-19, as per a study.

The study which was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, used computer techniques to analyse 6,466 drugs authorised by several drug agencies for both human & veterinary use.

The researchers from University at Rovira in Spain assessed whether these drugs can be used to inhibit the main protease of the virus (M-pro) enzyme, which plays an essential role in the replication of the virus. It was found out that a human and a veterinary anti-inflammatory drug - Carprofen & Celecoxib inhibit a key enzyme in the replication and transcription of the virus which is responsible for covid-19.

It is to be noted that finding drugs that can inhibit the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 is an important step to find the vaccine that can definitively bring an end to the spread of the virus, said the researchers. M-pro enzyme is responsible for cutting 2 polypeptides generated by the virus itself. It generates a number of proteins that are essential for the reproduction of the virus, the researchers said.

Few of the trials coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) against the COVID-19 pandemic also aim to inhibit M-pro by using two antiretrovirals like Lopinavir & Ritonavir, drugs initially designed to treat HIV, said the researchers.

Now in the new study, prediction is made that seven of the 6,466 drugs analysed might inhibit M-pro. These results are shared with the international initiative of scientists, COVID Moonshot, who has selected two of these seven compounds - Carprofen and Celecoxib in order to test their ability to inhibit M-pro in vitro.

Their findings show that at a concentration of 50 micromolar (M) of Celecoxib or Carprofen, the inhibition of the in vitro activity of M-pro enzyme is 11.90 and 4.0%, respectively. Both molecules could be used as a beginning point for further lead optimisation to obtain even more potent derivatives, as per the researchers.

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