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Biotech Innovations
June 9, 2020

Existing Drugs Might Treat COVID-19

JAMA. 2020;323(22):2239. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.9265

Drugs already marketed for conditions including schizophrenia might have potential as treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a Nature study suggests.

In laboratory experiments, 10 pharmaceutical agents that are currently available or in development killed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). But the compounds still need testing in clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy. Additionally, the researchers cautioned that the cough syrup ingredient dextromethorphan had proviral activity.

To pinpoint potential therapeutics, the researchers identified protein interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and human cells. The human proteins involved in these interactions are druggable targets, so the next step was to find existing compounds that act on them. The researchers identified 69 agents and tested 47 of them against SARS-CoV-2.