Researchers have found that a class of existing drugs, which are currently used in the treatment of other infectious diseases, can suppress replication of SARS-CoV-2 and relieve Covid-19 symptoms in an animal model.
Metallodrug is a drug that contains a metal as an active ingredient. Most commonly metallodrugs are used as anticancer or antimicrobial agents.
These are metallodrugs, which consist of metal compounds. Generally, metal compounds are used as anti-microbial agents, but their antiviral activities have rarely been explored.
Their findings now provide a new therapeutic option for treatment of Covid-19. The researchers screened metallodrugs and related compounds including ranitidine bismuthcitrate(RBC), a commonly used anti-ulcer drug which contains the metal bismuth.
They identified RBC as a potent anti SARS-CoV-2 agent. RBC targets a protein called Nsp13, which is essential for SARS-CoV-2 to replicate.
The experiments showed that RBC reduces viral loads by over 1,000-fold in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells.
RBC was found to suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication and reduce viral loads by 100-fold in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, and to mitigate virus-associated pneumonia.