Repurposed Antibiotic May Be an Effective COVID-19 Therapeutic

Repurposed drugs often have a speedier path to clinical use because they have already been shown to be safe in people. A research study that was in the open access journal PLOS Pathogens by Sandrine Belouzard and Jean Dubuisson at Pasteur Institute, Lille, France, and colleagues suggests COVID-19 Antibiotic clofoctol may be an effective treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infections in mice.

While COVID-19 vaccines reduce hospitalizations and death, they do not control virus transmission, and affordable, effective therapies are needed. Previous attempts to repurpose medicines to treat COVID-19 patients have been unsuccessful thus far. In order to identify potential antiviral therapies that are effective against COVID-19, the scientists accessed the Apteeus drug library, a collection of 1,942 approved drugs to identify molecules that exhibit antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. The authors selected clofoctol based on its antiviral potency. They tested their hypothesis by measuring clofoctol’s effects in SARS-CoV-2-infected mice.

The researchers found that transgenic mice treated with clofoctol had a decreased viral load, reduced inflammatory gene expression, and lowered pulmonary pathology. Future studies are needed to further understand the drug’s therapeutic potential in SARS-CoV-2 patients as the study was limited by the physiological differences between humans and mice. Additionally, the mice were euthanized only two days after treatment, so longer-term effects remain unknown.

According to the authors, “The COVID-19 Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties of clofoctol, associated with its safety profile and unique pharmacokinetics make a strong case for proposing clofoctol as an affordable therapeutic candidate for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Finally, the relatively low cost of this drug suggests that it is a potential clinical option for treatment of COVID-19 patients in resource-poor settings.”

“Antivirals targeting SARS-CoV-2 are sorely needed,” adds Dubuisson. “In this study, we screened a library of drug compounds and identified clofoctol as an antiviral against SARS-CoV-2. We further demonstrated that, in vivo, this compound reduces inflammatory gene expression and lowers pulmonary pathology and decreases viral load.”

Source: This news is originally published by scitechdaily