In the ongoing efforts to develop treatment and vaccine for COVID-19, repurposing existing medicines to tackle the disease than developing a vaccine is more practical, says a team of international scientists at the British Journal of Pharmacology.
Meanwhile, since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 for COVID-19 since late 2019, above 3.5 million individuals have been infected, resulting in more than 240,000 deaths worldwide due to COVID-19. To combat this, drug discovery is underway to treat COVID-19 and to develop a vaccine for preventing infection in the first place. This is the key focus of scientific communities and researchers worldwide at the moment.
Development of Treatment needs Multi-pronged Approach, say researchers
“The treatment for the disease will not be a magic bullet, instead a multi-pronged approach is needed to find new drugs, say a team of researchers representing the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology.” The team alerts that it is likely, it will take more than a year for an effective and scalable vaccine to be available to tackle the pandemic.
In terms of action of a virus, when it enters the human body, it breaks into the cells, hijacking the body machinery unless immunity is developed from a previous infection. Mostly, the results observed are due to our immune system that fights back in return to clear the infection. One the other hand, in severe cases, the immune response become overactive – leading to so-called cytokine storm, to cause collateral damage to organs along the way.
Therefore, any drug to treat COVID-19 will require to focus on three stages of the infection: preventing the virus from entering cells in the first place, stop it from replicating if it gets inside the cells, and reduce damage that occurs tissues – heart and lungs in this case.