An Indian-American scientist at the University of Missouri has identified four possible treatments for COVID-19.
Associate Professor Kamlendra Singh of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has evaluated the effectiveness of various antiviral drugs as possible treatments for the virus that has caused the global pandemic.
Meanwhile, numerous potential vaccines are in various stages of development around the world.
According to a May 4, 2020 press release from the University, Singh has found that four antiviral drugs, including remdesivir, a drug originally developed to treat Ebola, are effective in inhibiting the replication of the coronavirus causing COVID-19.
Singh is also the assistant director of the MU Molecular Interactions Core, and Bond Life Sciences Center investigator, as well as associate research professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the MU School of Medicine.
He and his team used computer-aided drug design to examine the effectiveness of remdesivir, 5-fluorouracil, ribavirin and favipiravir in treating COVID-19. Singh found that all four drugs were effective in inhibiting, or blocking, the coronavirus’ RNA proteins from making genomic copies of the virus, the press release said.
“As researchers, we have an obligation to search for possible treatments given that so many people are dying from this virus,” Singh is quoted saying in the press release. “These antiviral drugs, if they turn out to be effective, all have some limitations. But in the midst of a global pandemic, they are worth taking a deeper look at because based on our research, we have reason to believe that all of these drugs could potentially be effective in treating COVID-19.”
As with all viruses, COVID-19 can mutate and develop resistance to antiviral drugs.
“Our goal is to help doctors by providing options for possible treatments of COVID-19, and to ultimately contribute in improving the health outcomes of patients suffering from the infectious disease,” Singh said. “As researchers, we are simply playing our part in the fight against the pandemic.”
Singh’s paper, “Feasibility of Known RNA Polymerase Inhibitors as Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Drugs,” was recently published in Pathogens.