Despite the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, effective therapeutics are needed until worldwide immunity has been achieved. A study published online on September 9, 2021 in PLOS Pathogens by Adam Pickard, PhD, and Karl Kadler, PhD, at University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and colleagues suggests that some FDA-approved drugs could be safely repurposed to treat COVID-19 infections. The open-access article is titled “Discovery of Re-Purposed Drugs That Slow SARS-CoV-2 Replication In Human Cells.” The majority of the world’s population is still unvaccinated, yet there are few medications that have been proven safe, easily distributed, and capable of reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. To identify drugs that could effectively treat SARS-CoV-2 infections, researchers performed a screen of 1,971 FDA-approved therapeutics using a luminescent enzyme tagged version of SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to quantify viral load. They then analyzed the efficacy of the drugs in a range of infected human cell types, observing how well the virus replicated in infected cells after exposure to each medication.
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