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Lymphoma drug fare better against Covid virus

Beijing – A novel screening approach identified four promising drugs, which were then tested against SARS-CoV-2 in lab experiments. Two of the drugs, pralatrexate and azithromycin, successfully inhibited replication of the virus. Further lab experiments showed that pralatrexate more strongly inhibited viral replication than did remdesivir, a drug that is currently used to treat some Covid-19 patients, said Haiping Zhang of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology in Shenzhen, China.
Zhanh and team screened 1,906 existing drugs for their potential ability to inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 by targeting a viral protein called RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP). The findings, published in open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that pralatrexate could potentially be repurposed to treat Covid-19. They said: “This chemotherapy drug can prompt significant side effects and is used for people with terminal lymphoma, so immediate use for Covid-19 patients is not guaranteed. Still, the findings support the use of the new screening strategy to identify drugs that could be repurposed.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic causing illness and death worldwide, better treatments are urgently needed. One shortcut could be to repurpose existing drugs that were originally developed to treat other conditions. “We have demonstrated the value of our novel hybrid approach that combines deep-learning technologies with more traditional simulations of molecular dynamics,” Zhang said.

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