Study finds therapeutic option to treat COVID-19 [Representative image]  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Researchers used the standard structure-based drug design and discovery approach for finding possible drug candidates from the existing pool of FDA-approved drugs
- The study found out that two FDA approved retro-viral drugs can potentially treat COVID-19
New Delhi: While scientists across the world are working to understand the pathogeny of the virus responsible for causing COVID-19 and come up with a vaccine to fight it, the researchers at Jamia Millia Islamia have claimed to have discovered a therapeutic option for its treatment.
Ever since the imposition of lockdown, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences (CIRBSc), JMI has been on a mission to find a solution for COVID-19. Dr Imtiyaz Hassan, Dr Anas Shamsi, Mr Taj Mohammad, and Ms Saleha Anwar have been researching extensively to come up with an immediate solution to fight the coronavirus for the last 3 months. The research gained momentum after a recent breakthrough showed enough evidence over the use of FDA approved drugs which have the potential to fight with SARS-CoV-2.
“Drug Resourcing is one technique, where we use already available drugs to fight a particular disease. In the case of COVID-19, we need urgent solutions. So, the best way is to use already available drugs. There are more than 1 lakh drugs, so which one to use is the big question”, said Dr Hassan, a scientist from Jamia Millia Islamia and Fellow of Royal Society of Biology, U.K. (FRSB) as well as Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, UK (FRSC).
To find a solution, the students utilised the standard structure-based drug design and discovery approach for finding possible drug candidates from the existing pool of FDA-approved drugs and checked their effectiveness. After extensive research, Dr Hassan and his team identified glecaprevir and maraviroc as the best inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2, main protease, which can be used as a possible therapeutic agent to address COVID-19 patients.
“Both the identified drugs, glecaprevir and maraviroc, are retroviral in nature and are used in chronic Hepatitis C and HIV infection, respectively. We are repurposing these drugs against COVID-19 because of their mode of action, properties and specific binding with the substrate-binding pocket of SARS-CoV-2, main protease which is responsible for the coronavirus infection”, Taj Muhammad, Jamia PhD student said.
The team is now reaching out for support from the government and hospital to conduct trials as these drugs are FDA approved.