Coronavirus Update : New research says, Anti-ulcer drug can help in treating coronavirus

New Delhi: India is currently witnessing fall in coronavirus infected cases, however there is a possibility of recurrence of the recovered case. Though the vaccine is still under trial and it will take time to enter the market, there are few discoveries of medicine which can help in treatment of coronavirus. The researchers from Hong Kong have reported a novel antiviral strategy for treatment of Covid-19. The team of researchers has discovered and identified a class of existing drugs which can help suppress replication of SARS-CoV-2 and relieve Covid-19 symptoms in an animal model. These medicines are currently used in the treatment of other infectious diseases.

The findings of the study are published in Nature Microbiology. The medicine identified are metallodrugs having the metal compounds.  The metal compounds are basically used as anti-microbial agents. However, as per the researchers the antiviral activities have rarely been explored.

With these research findings, it provides a new perspective in treating coronavirus positive patients. It now explores a new therapeutic option for treatment of Covid-19. The researchers screened metallodrugs and related compounds including ranitidine bismuthcitrate(RBC), a commonly used anti-ulcer drug which contains the metal bismuth.

The researcher identified RBC as a potent anti SARS-CoV-2 agent.  This RBC targets a protein called Nsp13 that is essential for SARS-CoV-2 to replicate. The experiments carried by the Hong-Kong researcher shows, RBC minimizes viral loads by over 1,000-fold in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. RBC was found to suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication and reduce viral loads by 100-fold in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, and to mitigate virus-associated pneumonia.

India registered new cases of 65,126 coronavirus cases touching 7,432,680, and the country’s death toll reached 113,032. Maharashtra having the highest positivity rate in the country over the past three months has seen the coronavirus cases figure declining by 7.3 percentage points (from 21.1% to 13.8%).

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