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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 10, 2023  2 months, 1 week, 4 days, 1 hour, 2 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: University Of Bristol In Vitro Shows That The HIV Drug Cobicistat Could Be Used As A Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Against All Coronaviruses!

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COVID-19 News: University Of Bristol In Vitro Shows That The HIV Drug Cobicistat Could Be Used As A Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Against All Coronaviruses!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 10, 2023  2 months, 1 week, 4 days, 1 hour, 2 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: In the relentless battle against global public health threats posed by coronaviruses, a groundbreaking study by the University of Bristol has unveiled a promising contender in the form of an HIV drug called Cobicistat. The research covered in this COVID-19 News report, explores the potential of Cobicistat to serve as a broad-spectrum antiviral, capable of inhibiting various coronaviruses, including the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 variants that have emerged over the last two decades.


                                         Cobicistat

Coronaviruses, with the infamous SARS-CoV-2 leading the charge, continue to present a formidable challenge to public health worldwide. Current antiviral therapies against SARS-CoV-2 are limited, and their effectiveness is not always consistent. The virus's ability to mutate and develop resistance to existing treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies, underscores the urgent need for novel and potent antiviral drugs.
 
Cobicistat, An HIV Drug That Shows Great Potential As A Standalone Antiviral Against Various Coronaviruses Including SARS-CoV-2
The research team had previously investigated the potential of Cobicistat, a booster drug typically used in conjunction with anti-HIV medications, against a SARS-CoV-2 variant circulating in Europe in 2020. Building on this foundation, the recent study delves deeper into whether Cobicistat's antiviral properties extend to key variants of concern (VOCs) of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, including the lethal Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
 
Automated image analysis was employed to comprehensively compare the antiviral effects of Cobicistat with another structurally similar drug, Ritonavir. The results revealed that both drugs exhibited potent anti-coronavirus activity against all eight tested VOCs of SARS-CoV-2 and various other human coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV. Notably, Cobicistat demonstrated superior efficacy compared to Ritonavir.
 
Dr Iart Luca Shytaj, a corresponding author of the study and Lecturer in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol expressed optimism about the findings. Dr Shytaj stated, "Our results indicate that Cobicistat, at dosages above its typical clinical use as a booster, could become an effective antiviral drug both on its own and in combination with other antivirals, leading to more potent treatments than currently available options."
 
The study's implications are significant, suggesting that Cobicistat has the potential to fortify the arsenal of antiviral drugs in the fight against current and future coronavirus outbreaks. While the results are promising, further validation through animal and clinical studies is crucial to confirm the drug 9;s efficacy and safety.
 
The study also underscores the need for innovative antiviral treatments, especially in the face of evolving viral variants. Coronaviruses, known for their ability to cause severe respiratory illnesses, have been responsible for outbreaks such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.
 
The exact mechanism behind Cobicistat's potent antiviral activity remains unclear. Previous studies have shown that Cobicistat can inhibit the fusion and replication of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting a potential role in blocking viral entry. Interestingly, the study found that Cobicistat's effects were independent of the ACE-2 receptor, indicating a broader mechanism of action.
 
Furthermore, the study explored the synergy between Cobicistat and the Mpro inhibitor Nirmatrelvir. Results indicated a significant enhancement of antiviral activity when these drugs were combined. This suggests that Cobicistat, when used in conjunction with other antivirals, could pave the way for more potent treatments.
 
While these findings provide a promising avenue for drug development, it's essential to acknowledge the limitations of the study. The lack of a clear mechanistic explanation for the differing potencies of Cobicistat and Ritonavir highlights the need for further research. Additionally, clinical dose escalation studies will be crucial to assess the safety and feasibility of higher dosages in humans.
 
In conclusion, the study marks a significant stride in the quest for effective antiviral treatments against coronaviruses. Cobicistat, once considered solely as a booster for HIV medications, emerges as a potential game-changer in the ongoing battle against global health threats. As research progresses, the hope is that Cobicistat, with its demonstrated broad-spectrum antiviral activity, could play a pivotal role in reducing the impact of coronaviruses on public health globally.
 
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal; Antiviral Research.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166354223002449
 
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