Australian scientists say the FDA-approved drug can suppress coronavirus in two days

Scientists at Monash University and the Royal Hospital in Melbourne found that the anti-parasitic agent ivermectin could inhibit coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 multiplication within 48 hours. The results of the study by Australian specialists are published in Antiviral Research.

Scientists in the laboratory tested the effect of the drug on infected cells - they added ivemectin in them two hours after infection. The researchers claim that a day later the amount of viral RNA decreases by 93% and 48 hours later - by 99.98%. The concentration of the drug was 5 µM, which is not toxic to the cells. According to them, as a result of the application of ivermectin it was possible to reduce the accumulation of viral RNA SARS-CoV-2 five thousand times.

The impact of the drug was studied in a test tube and on infected mice, the doctor said; it is not yet known how the drug will affect the virus in the human body, but it is likely to be immediately launched into clinical practice, as there is no time to conduct preliminary experiments. Thus, clinical trials will continue in humans, which is appropriate as it has already been tested on humans for antiparasitic properties. The FDA has recognised that it is safe.

Ivermektin has been studied for a long time, and for its discovery the researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize - for antiparasitic, says Ancha Baranova, Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor at the School of Systems Biology at GMU. However, antiviral activity was actually a side effect. There is no guarantee that ivemectin will help patients with COVID-2019 yet, but since it is safe for people, it is easy to launch it in trials.

Ivermeectin was developed in 1975 and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997. It is used to treat humans, pigs, cattle, horses and sheep; in humans it treats strongyloidosis. Ivermectin enhances GABAergic inhibition in parasite nervous system synapses, resulting in paralysis and death. It also causes muscle relaxation in the throat, which prevents the helminth from eating, and causes embryogenesis disorders in female parasites.

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