Two anti-inflammatory drugs, one prescribed for animals and another for humans, may inhibit a key enzyme in the reproduction or replication of the novel COVID19, according to a study.
The study published in the international Journal of Molecular Sciences, used computerised techniques to analyse 6,466 drugs authorised by several drugs agencies for both veteranary and human use.
The researchers from Universitat Rovira in Spain assessed whether these drugs could be used to inhibit the main profease of the viru M-pro enzyme, which plays an essential role in the replication of the Coronvirus.
They found that a veterinary and a human anti-inflammatory drug – Celecoxib and Carprofen - inhibit a key enzyme in the transcription and replication of the COVID19.
Finding drugs that can inhibit the infection caused by Coronavirus is an essential step to finding the vaccine that can definitely bring the spread of Coronavirus to an end, according to the researchers.
M-pro enzyme is responsible for cutting two polypeptides – generated by the Coronavirus and generating a number of proteins that are essential for the reproduction of the Coronavirus, the researchers said.
Some of the trials coordinated by the WHO against the COVID19 pandemic also aim to inhibit M-pro using two antiretrovirals such as Ritonavir and Lopinavir, drugs initially designed to treat HIV, resarchers said.
The study results have been shared with the international initiative of scientists, COVID Moonshoot, which was selected two of these seven compounds - Celecoxib and Carprofen - in order to test their ability to inhibit M-pro in vitro, researchers said.
The study results show that at a concentration of 50 micromolar of Carprofen and Celecoxib, the inhibition of the invitro activity in M-pro enzyme is 4.0 and 11.90 cent, respectively.
Both the molecules could be used as a starting point for further lead optimisation to obtain even more potent derivatives, the researchers added.