Healthcare systems worldwide are overwhelmed by the raging COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As the current number of global infections of SARS-CoV-2 nears 33 million individuals. An effective treatment or vaccine option is crucial and desperately needed.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is related to the earlier coronaviruses of SARS-CoV and the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Now in new research published on the preprint server bioRxix*. A novel formulation of the drug Niclosamide (NIC) is observed to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV in mouse models; it also protects against methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia and inflammatory lung damage. As oral formulation does not meet the required systemic concentration, this drug is delivered as an aerosol, using human lysozyme (hLYS) as a carrier molecule.
In a strategy to assess and repurpose previously used drugs (against SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV), Ashlee D. Brunaugh et al. choose an FDA-approved anthelmintic (antiparasitic) drug called niclosamide (NIC) to study as a promising antiviral candidate. Niclosamide is listed as an Essential Medicine by WHO and has been in use for over 60 years. In their paper, the authors show the antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory efficacy of the NIC-hLYS powders evaluated in vitro and in vivo in MERS-CoV SARS-CoV-2 infected mouse models. Utilizing repurposed NIC with lysozyme, the study reports developing a therapeutically effective, rapidly scalable and globally distributable antiviral therapy to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
Source: News Medical