NEW DELHI: An international team, including scientists of Indian origin, has identified 69 drugs and experimental compounds which may be effective in treating COVD-19.
According to the researchers, some of the medications are already used to treat diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and repurposing them to treat COVID-19 may be faster than trying to invent a new vaccine.
In the new study, published on the pre-print website bioRxiv, the scientists investigated 26 of the 29 coronavirus genes, which direct production of the viral proteins.
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"The team took a different approach, targeting host proteins, not viral proteins. 26 out of 29 SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins were studied in human cells to find out what human proteins they interact with," Gina T Nguyen, Assistant Director of Communications & Events, Quantitative Biosciences Institute, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the US, told PTI in an email.
Around 332 human proteins were found to interact with the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, the researchers, including Advait Subramanian, Srivats Venkataramanan, and Jyoti Batra, all from UCSF, said.
These are the proteins that the virus, which has killed over 2,1000 people and infected more than 4,71,000 globally so far, relies on to reproduce and carry out the infection in people, they said.
"69 drugs were identified that can target these proteins, of which 25 are already US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and could be used off-label.
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