Rapamycin has been identified as a potential drug that can be repurposed to treat COVID-19 by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal, and the University of Nebraska Medical Centre, Nebraska (UNMC), USA.
Rapamycin, which is used to prevent organ rejection after transplants and in cancer treatment, was discovered to have anti-aging properties and the potential to treat COVID-19 patients, according to the researchers. Rapamycin and its analogues are widely available in India and abroad and are currently used for patients who have undergone organ transplantation and certain cancer patients.
The biochemical functioning of this drug molecule, according to researchers, indicates its potential in the treatment of COVID-19. The paper goes into detail on whether this drug should be repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients. Since the repurposed drug has already been screened for toxicity and has gone through the clinical testing phases for other diseases, several stages of preclinical and early clinical development can be skipped, and the drug can be tested immediately on COVID-19 participants in phase-II studies.
This study was co-led by the CEO, Dr Amjad Husain, IISER Bhopal, and Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Deputy-Chair, UNMC Research, Dr Siddappa N. Byrareddy. The research was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Siddappa N. Byrareddy. Research results have just been published in Chemico Biological Interactions, a peer-reviewed journal.
Rapamycin has been known to block pro-inflammatory cytokines on a biochemical basis, aside from inhibiting protein synthesis. We know the rise in inflammatory cytokines in a mechanism known as “Cytokine Storm” as a result of serious COVID-19 infection. Rapamycin’s inhibitory effect on cytokines also makes COVID-19 appealing.
Furthermore, Rapamycin is believed to decrease obesity across different routes and can help to mitigate the seriousness of symptoms of COVID-19 in obese individuals. Moreover, Rapamycin is believed to cause autophagy, a cell recycling mechanism that contributes to the elimination and delay of degraded proteins. Due to the relation between the age and the death rate in COVID, i.e. additional deaths of older persons, Rapamycin’s anti-ageing properties can guard against COVID- 10-induced morbidities. (Science Wire of India)
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