Drug to treat ‘alcoholism’ useful against Covid-19: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 07, 2020 Published on August 07, 2020

Disulfiram fights SARS-CoV-2 in two ways

Russian researchers at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) have discovered that the drug that is used to treat alcoholism can potentially stop the reproduction of coronavirus, as per the paper published on HSE’s official website.

A team of chemists from HSE University and the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry used molecular modelling to find out that two medications that have been known for a long time can be used to fight SARS-CoV-2.

These are disulfiram, which is used to treat alcoholism, and neratinib, an experimental drug being used to treat breast cancer.

The researchers believe that the elements of the coronavirus that do not mutate faster should be chosen as a target for the potential treatment.

Otherwise, a medication effective against one strain would no longer be effective against another, they said.

The best candidates for this are conservative proteinssuch as the SARS-CoV-2 virus main protease M pro.

M pro plays a major role as they are resistant to mutations. This means that its inhibition is able to slow down or even completely stop its reproduction inside the body, the researchers said.

Most commonly used for treating alcoholism, disulfiram fights SARS-CoV-2 in two ways. First, as previously demonstrated in vitro with SARS and MERS coronaviruses, it is a covalent inhibitor, they said.

Second, it resists Covid-19 symptoms, which include the significant decrease in glutathione, an important antioxidant, according to the researchers.

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Published on August 07, 2020
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