Anti-Parasitic Drug Halts Coronavirus Replication in Lab-Grown Cells within 48 Hours

From Gen Eng News:

An anti-parasitic drug that is available around the world stops SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from replicating in cells within a couple of days, according to findings from in vitro studies by Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), working with the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity.

BDI research lead Kylie Wagstaff, PhD, said the studies showed that the drug, ivermectin, started to become effective against SARS-CoV-2 in lab-grown cells within just a day. “We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,” Wagstaff commented. The researchers’ report is available as a pre-proof paper in Antiviral Research, titled, “The FDA-approved drug ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.”

Ivermectin is approved by the FDA for treating a number of parasitic infections, and the drug has an established safety profile, the authors wrote. Studies have suggested that ivermectin may also be effective in vitro against a broad range of viruses, including HIV, Dengue, influenza, and Zika virus. Wagstaff made a previous breakthrough finding on ivermectin in 2012, when, in collaboration with BDI co-author David Jans, PhD, she identified antiviral activity of ivermectin. Jans and his team have been researching the antiviral effects of ivermectin for more than 10 years.

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