Hepatitis-C Drugs And A Remdesivir Metabolite As New Anti-Covid-19 Drugs: The Viral Protein NSP3 Emerges As A New Target.

In the search for new ways to use small molecule drugs to prevent and treat Covid-19 infections, a surprising synergy has emerged. Two drugs—Remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 and combination Hepatitis-C antivirals—both of which target NSP3 hold immediate promise for prevention and treatment of infection by SARS-CoV-2.  Some of these drugs are highly synergistic, as much as tenfold, and show few adverse toxic effects. Here is the story of how they were discovered. It is also a surprising story about repurposing old drugs for new uses, and the discovery of an unlikely new target of anti-Covid-19 drugs, the viral protein NSP3.

We are now halfway through year two of the Covid-19 pandemic. The end is not yet in sight given the recent surge in India, the increase in infections in Latin American, and flare-ups in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia. Vaccines will be the backbone of Covid-19 control as evidenced by the positive results in Israel, the United Kingdom, and most recently the United States. However, the variability of protection offered by different vaccines over time and against viral variants warrants consideration for other means to prevent infections of the unvaccinated, for cases of vaccine breakthrough, and infection of those with underlying immune dysfunction.

I believe that the successful Covid-19 control strategy will be multi-modal, combining vaccines, anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and combinations of antiviral drugs. Our ongoing series outlines rapid progress in progress in anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and nanobodies. Here we begin a new series devoted to progress in the development of small molecule drugs designed to prevent and treat Covid-19.

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© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.