The COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by WHO. With the exponentially increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the world is moving toward creating new therapies and vaccines to counter the virus. Given the virus’s similarity to SARS and MERS, several existing therapeutic agents are being repurposed to achieve immediate control. Now, when the virus has infected 258 Indians, we provide you a checklist of available drugs that possess the potential to treat the disease.
The COVID-19 virus is an enveloped virus, with a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA. Similar to the SARS and MERS, the viral RNA encodes structural, non-structural, and accessory proteins. The key four non-structural proteins and the spike protein are highly conserved and essential for the viral life cycle and entry into cells. These proteins are therefore the most-eligible therapeutic targets. The similarity between the SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 has made it possible to repurpose the existing drugs.
Certain drugs such as Ribavirin, which is indicated for the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus can also be prescribed. However, these are less preferred because of potential side effects.
Further, papain-like protease inhibitors including praziquantel, cinacalcet, procainamide, terbinafine, pethidine, labetalol, tetrahydrozoline, ticlopidine, ethoheptazine, amitriptyline, naphazoline, formoterol, benzylpenicillin, chloroquine, and chlorothiazide are also hypothesized to counter the COVID-19.5
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has created the need for fast development of therapeutics. It has become important for pharma marketers to keep HCPs updated about the latest potential treatment against the virus so that they can effectively treat any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient within a short timespan.
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- Arya R, Das A, Prashar V, Kumar M. Potential inhibitors against papain-like protease of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from FDA approved drugs.
- Gao J, Tian Z, Yang X. Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies. BioScience Trends. 2020.
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