Amodiaquine, zuclopenthixol and nebivolol can help treat COVID-19, finds new study
The results of the experiment showed that zuclopenthixol and AQ showed anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, which was comparable to chloroquine.
Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have been focussed on finding a cure and vaccine for COVID-19 . While some are working on developing new drugs, other scientists have been trying to determine the effectiveness of existing drugs against the COVID-19 infection.
Some of the drugs they are trying to repurpose are hydroxychloroquine (anti-malarial drug), remdesivir (Ebola drug), ivermectin (antiparasitic drug), favipiravir (Japanese flu drug), metformin (anti-diabetic drug) and aspirin.
New research published in the journal ACS Pharmacology and Translational Science in October 2020 mentions three more drugs that could help treat COVID-19 .
Finding effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2
Generally, scientists use a technique called high throughput screening (HTS) while searching for drugs to repurpose. HTS is a technique that involves the use of an automated machine which allows the testing of thousands to millions of medicines at a time.
This helps the researchers progress at a faster pace and the results become available to them over the computer.
However, in this recent research, scientists have used ligand-based virtual screening (LBVS). LBVS is a virtual screening method which helps in determining the similarity between two ligands (drugs).
In this study, the scientists used hydroxychloroquine as a template for LBVS and screened about 4,000 approved drugs which could have been similar to it. The drugs were ranked by their extent of similarity to hydroxychloroquine and had a minimum Glob-Prod score (GP score) of 0.34. GP score helps in measuring the similarity between the template and the molecule that is getting screened.
The results showed that nine drugs had a GP score of above 0.34. They were: glafenine, amodiaquine (AQ), vorinostat, zuclopenthixol, isoxsuprine, nebivolol, ambroxol, panobinostat, and pracinostat.
In order to be certain about the accuracy of these drugs, these drugs were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in a test tube experiment.
Amodiaquine, zuclopenthixol and nebivolol
The results of the experiment showed that zuclopenthixol and AQ showed anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, which was comparable to chloroquine. While Nebivolold had a moderate antiviral effect, equivalent to 40 percent of chloroquine activity, ambroxol showed a mild antiviral effect, equivalent to 25 percent of chloroquine activity. Other drugs were not efficient enough in blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The scientists concluded that amodiaquine (antimalarial drug), zuclopenthixol (anti-psychotic drug) and nebivolol (anti-hypertensive drug) can be effective against SARS-CoV-2.
They further stated that these drugs may show potent results on combining with remdesivir or favipiravir. More studies are needed to be done before declaring these drugs safe and effective for COVID-19 patients.
For more information, read our article on Is Hydroxychloroquine really effective against COVID-19 ?
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