The scientific journal Science confirms the effect of a Spanish antiviral drug that reduces the viral load with the coronavirus by 99%. It concerns the chemical compound plitidepsin, which until now has only been tested on animals for covid-19.
The effect is 100 times stronger than that of remdesivir, the drug currently being administered.
This virus inhibitor is a potential covid-19 drug from the Spanish pharmaceutical company PharmaMar. This was reported to the Spanish National Commission of Market Value CNMV this week. Plitidepsin blocks the action of the host protein eEF1A. The coronavirus uses this host protein to reproduce itself and to enter the body.
Significantly more effective than currently used medicines
In laboratory tests on animals, plitidepsin has been shown to almost completely eliminate the virus load in the lung cells. But with a minimal dose of harmful substances. The problem with most antivirals targeting a human protein is that they contain toxins. Plitidepsin, on the other hand, is a safe agent. It has also been tested in very low doses and proven effective in animals. According to the researchers, the action of this drug is 100 times stronger than that of remdesivir. Which was the first antiviral agent to be approved in the treatment of covid-19. And to date, this has shown not to be 100% effective.
Also effective with virus variants
Medicines that are not directed against the coronavirus itself, but on the body’s own proteins have also proven to be more resistant to new variants of the coronavirus. Preliminary research results of the effect of the Spanish antiviral drug, Plitidepsin against the British variant of the coronavirus are also encouraging.
The development of the potential covid-19 drug came about in a collaboration between PharmaMar and a scientific team of virologists led by Adolfo García-Sastre of Mount Sinai Hospital New York. The official study results are currently being finalised by PharmaMar. After which, approval can be sought for “clinical phase 3” in which plitidepsin can be used to treat covid-19 patients in various countries.