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Study Suggests Vitamin B_12 as an Effective Anti-viral against COVID-19

Jul, 2021

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A team of researchers from Spain and the U.K. identified compounds that may be effective against SARS-CoV-2

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a threat to the healthcare industry since its outbreak in December 2019. Researchers and scientists across the globe have put on efforts to develop therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. Their intense research and development efforts have resulted in emergency use authorization and mass roll-out of various effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. However, the emergence of new variants, various immunization rates, and issues with supply chain have increased the demand for urgent therapeutics that can be rapidly deployed.

Drug repurposing is one such process that researchers and scientists are currently focusing on with an aim to develop effective treatments for SARS-CoV-2. In drug repurposing process, approved drugs are indicated for treating a disease, which in fact were not initially developed to treat. In this study, the researchers in Spain and the U.K. used a novel drug screening approach. This approach is used to identify compounds, which might aid as an effective antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. They are focusing on identifying drugs that are similar to remdesivir, which is the only antiviral against SARS-CoV-2. In this context, it is important to mention that remdesivir has been approved by the U.S. FDA for human use.

The researchers found that the antiviral drug GS-6620 and BMS-986094 compounds are effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants. These compounds were actually developed for treating hepatitis C. However, BMS-986094 may cause secondary effects as observed in the clinical trial. The researchers also found that different forms of vitamin B12 are potential antiviral candidates. Their findings reveal that vitamin B12 can be used as a therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, owing to their less toxic nature, affordability, and availability. The researchers concluded that novel compounds could inhibit the replication of a number of SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), and Delta (B.1.617.2).

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