A group of researchers from National University of Singapore has discovered a combination of antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs that can be used to treat Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate disease.
According to the Strait Times, researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) discovered that a combination of antiviral molnupiravir and anti-inflammatory baricitinib can be effective against the virus’s Beta and Delta variants.
According to Professor Dean Ho, director of the NUS Institute for Digital Medicine, the combination could strongly inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus in laboratory tests, making it suitable for further clinical evaluation.
“… we are looking for combination therapies that can eventually be given to patients with mild illness who are recovering at home, or in community care facilities,” Ho said.
Experts from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, NUS Medicine, and the National University Hospital (NUH) tested 12 drugs, including antivirals and cancer treatments.
According to the report, the molnupiravir-baricitinib combination has been identified for potential treatment.
However, there is currently no data from clinical trials demonstrating that the drug combination is effective in all stages of Covid-19 disease. According to Dr. Louis Chai, a senior consultant at the NUH Division of Infectious Diseases.
While some drugs may reduce the Covid viral load in patients, Chai cautioned that they may not slow disease progression or prevent death.
Molnupiravir “interferes with a part of the virus that is conserved across different variants — specifically, the enzyme that it uses to copy its genetic material for replication”, said Dr Conrad Chan, laboratory director at the Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute from DSO.
Chan molnupiravir “is a strong ‘backbone’ drug candidate from which multiple combinations can be derived”, he added.
Ho stated that his group is now planning clinical trials for molnupiravir and its drug combinations on Covid-19 patients. According to the report, vaccinated individuals with mild to moderate disease could be considered for inclusion in the study cohort.