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MU researcher identifies 4 possible treatments for COVID-19

The research found the drugs are effective in inhibiting the replication of the coronavirus causing COVID-19, the university said
Credit: University of Missouri
Kamlendra Singh, associate professor, MU College of Veterinary Medicine

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia has identified four antiviral drugs as possible treatments for COVID-19.

Kamlendra Singh, an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and his team used computer-aided drug design to examine the effectiveness of remdesivir, 5-fluorouracil, ribavirin and favipiravir in treating COVID-19, according to a press release from the university. 

Singh found that all four drugs were effective in inhibiting, or blocking, the coronavirus’ RNA proteins from making genomic copies of the virus.

“As researchers, we have an obligation to search for possible treatments given that so many people are dying from this virus,” Singh said in the release. “These antiviral drugs, if they turn out to be effective, all have some limitations. But in the midst of a global pandemic, they are worth taking a deeper look at because based on our research, we have reason to believe that all of these drugs could potentially be effective in treating COVID-19.”

The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, like all viruses, can mutate and develop resistance to antiviral drugs, the release said. Further testing in a laboratory setting and in patients is needed to better evaluate how the proposed treatments interact with the virus’ RNA polymerase.

“Our goal is to help doctors by providing options for possible treatments of COVID-19, and to ultimately contribute in improving the health outcomes of patients suffering from the infectious disease,” Singh said. 

Singh’s research is an example of translational medicine, a key component of the University of Missouri System’s NextGen Precision Health Initiative. The NextGen initiative aims to improve large-scale interdisciplinary collaboration in pursuit of life-changing precision health advancements and research, the release said.

To read Singh's research, click here.

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