Osteoporosis drug could be reused to fight Covid-19, scientists say


Osteoporosis drug reduces coronavirus infection in human cells by 85%, scientists say, opening the door to a new, rapid treatment for the disease.

Apilimod, a widely used drug, is one of 13 new drugs that were found to be effective in fighting the coronavirus when scientists looked at almost 12,000 treatments to see if any of them could fight Covid- 19.

Reusing drugs is a quick way to find new treatments because safety concerns have already been addressed, making them available faster.

Other drugs found to have anti-Covid-19 properties include an anti-HIV drug called R 82913 and treatment for diabetes.

A drug developed to treat autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease may also be effective, the scientists conclude in an article published in the journal Nature.

The drugs have been tested for their ability to prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, from replicating in human lung tissue.

Apilimod was found to have the greatest effect of all, reducing the number of infected cells by 85 percent.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California.

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