Researchers at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) announced this week that analogues of two drugs for Gaucher’s disease are effective against Covid-19.
This drug cocktail may also be effective in the case of future viral outbreaks, according to the IIBR, a governmental research institute that normally works on projects for Israel’s Ministry of Defence.
As part of its project to identify antiviral drugs and a vaccine for Covid-19, IIBR scientists tested an analogue of the drug Cerdelga and an analogue of a second drug in advanced stages of the approval process.
The institute’s study on cell cultures demonstrated that antiviral treatment using both drugs led to a significant reduction in the replication capacity of the coronavirus and to the destruction of the infected cell. This, in turn, prevents further cell damage following infection with Covid-19.
The two drugs are currently being tested for their effectiveness in treating animals infected with the coronavirus.
The IIBR has been deeply involved in the development of coronavirus treatments and vaccine since the outbreak of the disease.
Last week, Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that the laboratory had completed successful vaccine trials on rodents, paving the way to further testing on other animals and then eventually human trials. The laboratory hopes to have a finished vaccine in a year, or possibly earlier, the report said.
About 100 research groups around the world are pursuing vaccines for the coronavirus, with nearly a dozen in early stages of human trials or poised to start.