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  • The WHO says there are no proven effective therapeutics

  • to be had for the new coronavirus.

  • Efforts are focused on detection and containment.

  • A vaccine is still at least 12 to 18 months away.

  • As the coronavirus pandemic escalates knowing we have such

  • a long wait until we can immunise can be pretty scary.

  • The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a new virus and attacks cells in a new way so

  • we need a new drug to tackle it.

  • That said, there might already be a drug ready to use,

  • we just don't know it yet.

  • Using pre-approved drugs is the best strategy in the short term to help people

  • as others develop maybe more sophisticated targeted approaches,

  • say with a vaccine, or with drugs that target the virus.

  • But that could take months, if not years.

  • Professor Nevan Krogan works with an international team of scientists

  • that have identified pre-existing drugs with the potential to fight the coronavirus.

  • What we've noticed here is that this virus, in a very interesting way, is coming in and

  • essentially hijacking all the major biological processes in the cell, in a very fascinating way.

  • So it's getting its fingers in pretty much all the major machinery in our cells.

  • So the virus needs our cells and our genes and proteins, in order to live and replicate

  • and infect ourselves.

  • So the question is, what are those proteins?

  • So we generated this map, this blueprint where

  • we're essentially, looking for all the human proteins connected to virus proteins.

  • We identified 332 of these human proteins, through this study.

  • And predicted drugs, or compounds

  • that would come and bind to and inhibit these human proteins.

  • So of the 69 that we predicted to bind at least one of these 332 proteins, 27 of which

  • are FDA-approved drugs and the rest are in clinical trials, or being looked at pre-clinically.

  • The logic here is if we do get a hit on one of these drugs we can go and look at one of

  • these drugs in more detail and then see what other drugs, or compounds are similar to it.

  • So we can expand our search space, based on this initial screen at the end of the day.

  • Which will give us hopefully a higher likelihood of success.

  • Give us a sense of why it's easier to use an old drug?

  • I think on average it takes eight, nine years to get a drug into a person and a big reason

  • for that length of time is that you have to go through toxicity trials.

  • But if you focus on drugs, or compounds, that have already passed that barrier. You can

  • more quickly expedite a particular drug, or compound, into a person to target this virus.

  • And a lot of times that's not done, this drug repurposing.

  • One of the reasons is, financially related.

  • Companies have patents for specific compounds, or drugs and if another company

  • finds that, oh, this drug could be used for another disease. Well the original company

  • will get all the financial benefit from that.

  • So people don't look at those in that way that much.

  • But of course now everybody just wants to solve this particular problem.

  • And I would say one of the classic examples of drug repurposing is Viagra.

  • It was initially used to treat heart pain

  • and then it was realized there were other beneficial effects associated with it.

  • So we'd been thinking about this for some time.

  • and obviously now, with this sense of urgency, it's really allowed us to expedite

  • this particular vision and test it.

The WHO says there are no proven effective therapeutics

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B1 drug bind pre predicted identified approved

Why Old Drugs Could Fight COVID-19

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/15
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