A team of researchers from University of Karachi’s (KU) Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) has identified multiple drugs that could be effective for Covid-19 treatment
According to a statement issued by KU’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), under which PCMD functions, the team, under the supervision of Dr Zaheerul Haq Qasmi and Dr Reazud Din, employed computational technology and initiated a study for the purpose.
Published in the ‘Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamic’, the study identifies Remdesivir, Saquinavir, Darunavir and two naturally occurring compounds as possible drugs to combat coronavirus-triggered Covid-19.
Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. As of 2020, remdesivir is being tested as a specific treatment for COVID-19, and has been issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the U.S. for those hospitalized with severe disease. It may shorten the time it takes to recover from the infection. Treatment is given by injection into a vein.
Earlier studies found antiviral activity against several RNA viruses including SARS coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, but it is not approved for any indication. Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease but was ineffective for these viral infections
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Notably, Remdesivir was earlier found effective against the infection during an international drug trial and since then, has been under use for experimental Covid-19 treatment.
Lauding this achievement, KU vice-chancellor Dr Khalid Mehmood Iraqi, scientist Dr Attaur Rahman and ICCBS head Dr Iqbal Choudhry congratulated the team.