Scientists Identify 21 Existing Drugs Effective Against Coronavirus

A group of scientists from around the world has identified 21 known drugs to be effective against SARS-COV-2, the Coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 infection. These drugs can either be administered as a preventive measure or at the initial as well as later stages of COVID-19 infection.

Over the course of the study, titled “Discovery of SARS-COV-2 antiviral drugs through large-scale compound repurposing,” researchers analyzed one of the world’s biggest collection of existing drugs for their efficacy to stop the replication of SARS-COV-2.


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Initially, more than 100 current drugs were identified to have different levels of antiviral concentrations during laboratory tests. Later, researchers declared 21 drugs to be safe for human use to treat COVID-19. Of those 21, 4 drugs were found to improve the activity of Remdesivir, a current standard-of-care treatment for COVID-19.

According to Sumit Chanda, leader of the research group and professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Remdesivir has proven to reduce the recovery time of COVID-19 infection but it doesn’t work equally for every Coronavirus patient.

However, the research team has identified existing and readily available drugs that can improve the medical activity of Remdesivir.


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Here is what the researchers have found about the 21 drugs that can effectively stop SARS-COV-2 from replication:

  • 13 have previously been evaluated during clinical trials and are safe and effective for COVID-19 patients.
  • 3 have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) including Remdesivir
  • 4 have shown to increase the effectiveness of Remdesivir.

Of all 21 drugs, the research team has identified Clofazimine, Hanfangchin A, Apilimod, and ONO 5334 as the best available options for effective COVID-19 treatment in the absence of the Coronavirus vaccine.

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