Coronavirus Vaccine News: IISc researchers find 29 drugs that could be used to fight Covid-19 | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Researchers at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have identified at least 29 drugs that have the potential of being repurposed to treat Covid-19 patients.
“Covid-19 has almost brought normal life to a standstill in most parts of the world. With our research interest on repurposing known drugs/drug candidates targeting various diseases, we decided to analyse the available data on the deadly pathogen,” the team said.
The team, comprising Prof Narayanaswamy Srinivasan (leader), Sohini Chakraborti and Sneha Bheemireddy, has identified 29 potential repurpose-able agents that are either approved and/or investigational drugs.
This was achieved using a simple in silico (performed on computer) approach based on the principle of ‘neighbourhood behaviour’ in three-dimensional (3D) space and two-dimensional (2D) space of protein and small molecules respectively.
“Using this, we identified potential drugs/drug candidates which can be repurposed against protein targets encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes Covid-19] genome,” the researchers said. “And, based on our preliminary analysis, we have so far prioritized more than 20 known drugs/drug candidates which might elucidate anti-coronavirus properties by binding to the main protease of the pathogen.” The team also said they have identified nine other investigational drug molecules.
These drugs belong to diverse therapeutic areas such as antiviral, anticancer, antibacterial agents etc. Their research has been published on ChemRxiv, an open access preprint archive for chemistry, and is yet to be peer reviewed.
“The sole purpose of making these preliminary findings openly available to the community is for experimental biologists and biomedical researchers to investigate our predictions in experimental set ups and for clinicians to evaluate the potential of these findings for anti-Covid-19 treatment,” the researchers added.
Notably, apart from many synthetic molecules, their analysis also hints that phytochemicals obtained from vinca plant (vinca alkaloids) and camptotheca tree (camptothecin and its derivatives) have the potential to bind to main protease of SARS-CoV-2.
“…In-depth investigation on our findings are currently on-going. Our findings should only be used for research purposes and we strongly urge that no individual should interpret these findings for any self-diagnosis or self-medication without the prior approval from competent international health/medical regulatory agencies,” the team said.

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Sagar Biswas

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