Using computer simulations, scientists have identified an existing drug, used to treat multiple diseases, including bipolar disorders and hearing loss, that could prevent the novel coronavirus from replicating in host cells, reported The Financial Express.
The news source said the study, published in the journal Science Advances, assessed the molecule main protease, Mpro of the novel coronavirus.
According to the researchers, Mpro facilitates the virus' ability to make proteins from its genetic material and enables the pathogen to replicate within the host cell.
Using their expertise in modelling biological molecules, the scientists rapidly screened thousands of existing compounds for potential use against the virus.
They found that the pharmaceutical drug that shows promise as a weapon against Mpro is Ebselen, a compound with anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, bactericidal, and cell-protective properties.
The finding is particularly important since it helps explain Ebselen's potential efficacy as a repurposed drug, and reveals a new vulnerability in the virus that was previously not known and that could be useful in developing new therapeutic strategies against COVID-19.
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