By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 26 Jan 2021 • 11:21
CREDIT: Pharmamar Press
SPANISH Antiviral Trials Show Reduction of Viral Load of Covid by 99%
Spanish company PharmaMar has announced today (January 26) that its drug plitidepsin, known as Aplidin, has achieved a 99 per cent decrease in the viral loads of the lungs when tested on animals. The news is supported by the publication of an article in the journal ‘Science’.
The article emphasises that “the antiviral activity of plitidepsin against SARS-CoV-2 is produced by inhibiting the known target eEF1A.”
The study adds that plitidepsin, in ‘in vitro’ tests, demonstrated strong antiviral potency, noting: “In two different animal test subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the trial demonstrated a reduction in viral replication, which resulted in a 99 per cent decrease in viral loads in the lung of animals treated with plitidepsin,” said the publication.
The tests are part of a collaboration between PharmaMar and the laboratories of Kris White, Adolfo García-Sastre and Thomas Zwaka, in the Departments of Microbiology and Cellular, Regenerative and Developmental Biology, at the Icahn School of Medicine and by Kevan Shokat and Nevan Krogan, at the Institute of Quantitative Biosciences at the University of California San Francisco, and by Marco Vignuzzi at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
To get technical, plitidepsin works by blocking the protein eEF1A, which is found in human cells and is used by SARS-CoV-2 to reproduce and infect other cells. PharmaMar now wants to begin clinical trials in humans: “We believe that our data and the initial positive results from the PharmaMar clinical trial suggest that plitidepsin should be seriously considered to expand clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19,” the company says.
The Science article also states that plitidepsin is a safe antiviral in humans despite the risk of toxicity from all these drugs.
*Viral load is the numerical expression of the quantity of virus in a given volume of fluid.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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