Updated: Mar 28, 2020
New research zooms in on several anti-viral drugs that scientists could re-purpose to treat infections with the novel coronavirus. These drugs include Teicoplanin, Oritavancin, Dalbavancin, Monensin, and emetine.
Why re-purpose existing drugs?
Kainov and colleagues reviewed and summarized the information on 119 “safe-in-man” antiviral agents, called broad-spectrum antiviral agents (BSAAs).
BSAAs are compounds that target viruses “belonging to two or more viral families.”
The researchers explained in their study paper that the paradigm of one drug targeting one virus only is now transforming into a “one drug, multiple viruses” approach. This started with the advent of BSAAs.
Scientists developed BSAAs based on the idea that different viruses use similar pathways and host factors to multiply and spread within a cell. Thus, one drug could potentially target several different viruses at once.