Scientists have hailed a “very encouraging” drug that could be used to fight coronavirus.
Researchers from the UK and Germany who identified the potential treatment say it could stop Covid-19 entering host cells in the body.
Experts from the University of Kent, working alongside colleagues in Frankfurt and Hanover, found that the approved protease inhibitor aprotinin displayed activity against Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Aprotinin inhibits the entry of Sars-CoV-2 into host cells, the researchers found.
Professor Martin Michaelis, from the University of Kent, said: “The aprotinin aerosol has been reported to be tolerated extremely well in influenza patients.
“Hence, it may have a particular potential to prevent severe Covid-19 disease when applied early after diagnosis.
“Aprotinin displayed activity against different virus isolates and in different models, including primary cells directly from the lung. This is very encouraging.”
Dr Mark Wass said: “Effective drugs are very important in the fight against Covid-19, and we hope that we have found one.”
Aprotinin aerosols are approved in Russia for the treatment of influenza and could be readily tested for the treatment of Covid-19, according to the researchers.
A study on the drug’s possible use against Covid-19 has been published in the journal Cells.
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