Scientists all over the world have been working hard to find the best solutions that could help us combat the deadly coronavirus. Thanks to their work, we were able to have access to the COVID vaccine only a year after the pandemic started. Simultaneously, researchers have also been looking for other possible treatments that could further protect individuals from infection and treat them as well.
The latest promising development comes from researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). They’ve been testing a combination of drugs that could ‘suppress’ COVID infection—nafamostat and Pegasys, which are already available on the market.
Currently, nafamostat is being used to treat COVID and Pegasys is a medication for hepatitis C. Researchers say that the combination of the two drugs could fight COVID effectively. Professor Denis Kainov from NTNU’s Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine said:
This combination effectively suppresses the infection.
And Magnar Bjoras, a professor in the same department, added:
Both drugs attack a factor in our cells called TMPRSS2, which plays a critical role in viral replication.
According to Economic Times, the experiments have so far only been performed on hamsters and in cell cultures. Researchers have not guaranteed that the results will be the same in humans, but they have said it could be a step in the right direction. Furthermore, they revealed that the cocktail of drugs has shown promise even when used in small doses. This may be the silver lining of the study, given that the price point of Pegasys is relatively much higher than that of nafamostat. Aleksandr Ianevski, a doctoral research fellow at the department explained:
The low doses of the drugs in combination may have several clinical advantages, including fewer adverse events and improved outcomes for patients.
Thus, our study may provide a proactive solution for the ongoing pandemic and potential future coronavirus outbreaks, which is still urgently required in many parts of the world.