Russia Studying New Coronavirus Treatment

  • The research focused on the substance abuse drugs and caner treatment protocols.
  • Russian scientists utilized AI.
  • The study focuses on the unique spectrum.

Coronavirus continues to be on the news. Currently, there are over 19 million infected and over 700,000 dead around the globe. Hence, the need for the treatment and vaccine continues to be the top priority. Many countries continue to see the rise in numbers. The US had one of the largest number increases in the world.

Disulfiram (sold under the trade name Antabuse) is a drug used to support the treatment of chronic alcoholism by producing an acute sensitivity to ethanol (drinking alcohol). Disulfiram has been studied as a possible treatment for cancer and latent HIV infection.

Russian scientists found that the same drugs to treat alcohol dependence and cancer can effectively combat COVID-19. The full research is titled “Computational identification of disulfiram and neratinib as putative SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors.” The authors of the study are from the  Higher School of Economics (HSE) and the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The scientists utilized artificial intelligence technology to do a wider search within the available drug spectrum. Additionally, the researchers utilized an advanced super computer technology.

There are many labs in the world working around the clock to create the vaccine. However, none have been approved, besides in Russia. However, the data is questionable. Since the Phase 3 trials have not been completed, they are supposed to run concurrently with the vaccination this month in Russia in certain areas.

It is a possibly to create a new class of drugs specifically for the pandemic, but such effort can take close to a decade to make it available mass-market. It is too long to wait such time with this pandemic.

Therefore, an alternative is to find a treatment plan amongst the existing drugs. In his study, the researchers specifically focused on the MPRO protein. It should be noted that in 2003, during the SARS pandemic, the scientists also focused on these proteins.

Higher School of Economics (HSE), officially the National Research University Higher School of Economics, is a Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution for Higher Education that was founded in 1992. In 2009, The Higher School of Economics acquired the status of national research university.

According to the study, the drug molecule “docks” to the active center and blocks it. The active center of the MPRO protein is known, but there is no guarantee that it has one. Proteins can have dozens or hundreds of active centers. Therefore, conventional docking is not always effective.

Overall, the study identified that cancer protocol drugs are fatal to the virus. From one prospective, it is great that there are studies being conducted to find a solution to this global pandemic. On the other hand, the suggestion of using chemotherapy drugs is actually horrid idea.

It is a wide known fact that chemotherapy drugs not only kill cancerous cells, but also the healthy ones too. There are also severe side effects from such treatment, and long term, and in some cases lifetime secondary diagnosis after treatment. Given the fact that the Coronavirus effects the heart, chemotherapy drugs can actually be fatal to the human body.

There should be much work and research to combat COVID-19. The economies around the world can not wait too long with shutdowns. The time is of the essence to find a solution to stop this pandemic from spreading. It is highly likely by next year the solution would be found in the form of the vaccine.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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