The war against the Coronavirus continues! While the first vaccines are around the corner, researchers are still trying to find a way to cure COVID-19 more effectively.
Well, scientists from the Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) in Shenzhen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have come across a very interesting lead. The latter indeed involves a common drug against lymphoma!
In a report recently published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, researchers indicated that Acrotech Biopharma's Folotyn (pralatrexate), a chemotherapy drug, appears to have the full potential to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus .
Better treatment than Gilead's Remdesivir?
Currently, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are being treated with remdesivir, an antiviral vial produced by the US laboratory Gilead. Approved by the FDA, the treatment is mainly used in the United States, but it has also recently landed in Europe … and this, despite the reluctance evoked by the World Health Organization towards it.
Well, according to Chinese researchers, pralatrexate is much more effective than remdesivir. During their experiments, they indeed found that the famous drug against lymphoma was able to more strongly hinder the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cells!
Scientists have decided to take a serious look at the potential of pralatrexate, which could be the next weapon against the Coronavirus while waiting for the vaccines to be ready …
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A potential spotted thanks to artificial intelligence!
The article published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology indicated that the anti-COVID-19 potential of pralatrexate was discovered through machine learning and molecular simulation.
Researchers have indeed used artificial intelligence (AI) to test more than 1,900 drugs currently available on the market. AI helped them spot drugs that have the "ability to bind to coronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP)" and are therefore capable of disrupting COVID RNA synthesis -19.
Thus in addition to having made it possible to find a potential more effective anti-COVID-19 treatment, this study also supports the effectiveness of hybrid virtual screening to "help the reuse of drugs and facilitate the virtual screening of drugs against others. targets of SARS-CoV-2 ” .
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In any case, with regard to pralatrexate, research is continuing and we are impatient to learn more about its possible capacities against the new Coronavirus.