An affordable drug proven to be successful against the coronavirus is always a ray of hope in this day and age, and that is the case with the latest experimental offering coming straight from the labs of Hong Kong.
On Monday, scientists from Hong Kong announced that their experiments with an anti-microbial drug used to treat stomach ulcers and a host of bacterial infections have proven to be successful in dealing with the COVID-19 virus as well.
The experiments started out with the intent of the researchers to explore the impact of metallodrugs compounds on viral diseases and infections. Their hunch was that while such compounds have anti-bacterial properties, they might just have anti-viral properties capable of fighting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as well.
Using Syrian hamsters as their test subjects, the researchers discovered that ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC) was a “potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent”.
“RBC is able to lower the viral load in the lung of the infected hamster by tenfold,” Hong Kong University researcher Runming Wang told reporters on Monday .”Our findings demonstrate that RBC is a potential anti-viral agent for Covid-19.”
Of course, drugs tested on animals can only take us so far. But these experiments do prove that affordable anti-COVID-19 drugs are definitely a possibility. This becomes even more important considering that the virus is expected to hang around for a fairly long time, and since we don’t quite know when a vaccine will become available, our best shot is to continue to experiment with and research drugs capable of treating the infection.
Currently, remdesivir and dexamethasone are hailed as the best anti-COVID-19 drugs around, and both were used to treat none other than US President Donald Trump when he recently contracted COVID-19.
However, both drugs are not without their shortcomings. Remdesivir is expensive and not exactly available in abundance, while dexamethasone has immunosuppression effects that are not ideal for a majority of patients.
On the other hand, RBC is both commonly available as a drug, proven to be safe and pharmacologically comprehensive, and affordable.
The research team added that other metallodrugs are also being tested in order to discover other potential anti-COVID-19 drugs.