Antiviral drug could help save lives of Middle East patients, researchers say

U.K. researchers have proven that a powerful antiviral pill may be able to help prolong the lives of patients suffering from a newly discovered devastating strain of coronavirus, a devastating strain found to be…

Antiviral drug could help save lives of Middle East patients, researchers say

U.K. researchers have proven that a powerful antiviral pill may be able to help prolong the lives of patients suffering from a newly discovered devastating strain of coronavirus, a devastating strain found to be transmissible in the Middle East known as murine coronavirus-19.

The team, from the University of Cambridge, was able to prove that an antiviral pill, imvirapine, extended the lifespan of mice infected with the H5N1 strain of coronavirus. Scientists used an experimental drug not yet approved for human use that can produce remarkable results when it comes to fighting a range of viral infections.

According to British researchers, imvirapine is effective at treating a variety of viruses, including HIV, Hepatitis B and D, Influenza A, Haemophilus influenza type B, Marburg virus, Hib virus, Helicobacter pylori, Acinetobacter baumannii, Carcinogenes bacilli, and other deadly viruses.

Researchers used a similar drug called nimodipine to help the elderly fight off malaria, and the drug has been shown to extend the lives of Ebola sufferers by 20 to 25 days. Imvirapine has previously been approved for use in African children with HIV.

“The results of the study are highly surprising since the exact virus involved in this case is unknown, and imvirapine has never been used for the treatment of a virus before,” Michael Williams, professor of virology at Cambridge and leader of the study, said in a statement. “It is very exciting to find a potential new treatment in such early days.”

Temporary drugs such as these antiviral pill could prove to be extremely useful in a world still fighting off diseases such as Ebola and SARS.

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