Already approved itch remedy is said to stop novel coronavirus within 48 hours
Scientists in all parts of the world are researching a new drug against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 pathogen). As a result, reports are rolling over that certain active ingredients could stop COVID-19 disease. Scientists at the “Monsah University” in Melbourne (Australia) say that they have already made good progress with an already approved drug that is actually used for scabies and head lice.
Ivermectin is said to stop the coronavirus from multiplying
Although several clinical trials are currently underway to test possible therapies, the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been largely limited to monitoring and containment. The drug ivermectin is said to inhibit the multiplication of SARS-CoV-2 viruses within 48 hours. The medicine is actually used in the treatment of head lice, river sickness and scabies. The ingredient is classified as a “macricyclic lactone”.
Viruses reduced after only 24 hours
The director of studies Dr. Kylie Wagstaff of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute reports, studies have shown that the drug ivermectin can stop the growth of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture within 48 hours. “We found that a single dose can remove essentially all of the viral RNA within 48 hours and that there is a really significant reduction even after 24 hours,” said Dr. Wagstaff.
Already approved drug
The fundamental problem in research is that a drug approval process takes a very long time. For this reason, researchers are concentrating primarily on drugs that have already been approved, as they would be available promptly. Ivermectin is an FDA approved anti-parasitic. The drug has already been proven that “it is also effective against a wide range of viruses such as HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika”, the research team said in the abstract of the study.
Study not yet tested in the organism
However, Dr. warned Wagstaff that the tests performed in the study were carried out in vitro and that studies on humans still had to be carried out. In vitro (Latin ‘in the glass’) refers to organic processes that take place outside a living organism, in contrast to those that take place in the living organism (in vivo). Therefore, the first results are hopeful but not conclusive.
Next step: studies in the living organism
The next step is therefore to conduct large-scale studies on human subjects. “Ivermectin is used very often and is considered a safe drug. We now have to find out whether the dosages to be used in humans are also effective, ”reports Dr. Wagstaff.
“In times when we have a global pandemic and there is no approved treatment, a connection that is already available worldwide could help people earlier.” Realistically speaking, it will take a while for a vaccine to become widely available. Prof. Christian Dorsten already mentioned in the daily Corona update podcast on NDR Info that a vaccine would not be ready for the market until 2021 at the earliest.
Although the mechanism by which ivermectin acts on the virus is not known, its effects on other viruses are likely to prevent the virus from “dampening” the host cells’ ability to eliminate it, said Dr. Wagstaff.
Virologists involved in the study
Dr. Leon Caly from Royal Melbourne Hospital, a senior medical scientist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at the Doherty Institute, where the experiments with living coronavirus were carried out, is the lead author of the study. “As a virologist who was part of the team that first isolated and shared SARS-COV2 outside of China in January 2020, I am excited about the prospect of using ivermectin as a potential drug against COVID-19,” said Dr. Caly.
An antiviral effect was already demonstrated in 2012
An antiviral effect could already be demonstrated with ivermectin in 2012. Dr. Wagstaff and Professor David Jans from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute have been researching the viral properties of the drug for 10 years. Therefore, when the SARS-CoV-2 virus broke out, the scientists began to investigate whether ivermectin could also have an effect here.
Further clinical studies necessary
The use of ivermectin to combat COVID-19 would depend on the results of further pre-clinical testing and ultimately clinical trials, with urgent funding to continue the work, said Dr. Wagstaff. It is therefore still unclear whether and when the research work will continue.
- LeonCaly, Julian D.Druce, Mike G.Catton, David A.Jans, Kylie M.Wagstaff: The FDA-approved Drug Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, Sciencedirect
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.