Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in early-2020, many health professionals have attempted to treat complications associated with the disease using remdesivir. Although effective for some, a new study has discovered a drug treatment that is potentially more efficient.
Plitidepsin, an antiviral agent currently undergoing clinical testing, could be more efficient than remdesivir at treating the symptoms arising from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The drug is originally intended for use to treat multiple myeloma.
The new findings were based on clinical trial testing by a coalition of researchers in the United States, France, and Spain. Their study appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Science.
According to researchers, the drug’s primary action involves the inhibition of the protein eEF1A, a necessity for the SARS-CoV-2 strain to produce proteins for replication.
When comparing plitidepsin among infected samples of lung tissue, it was found to be significantly more efficient at eliminating the virus through eEF1A inhibition in comparison with remdesivir.
“Through the use of a drug resistant mutant, we show that the antiviral activity of plitidepsin against SARS-CoV-2 is mediated through inhibition of the known target eEF1A,” researchers wrote in their findings.
“We demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of plitidepsin treatment in two mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a reduction of viral replication in the lungs by two orders of magnitude using prophylactic treatment. Our results indicate that plitidepsin is a promising therapeutic candidate for COVID-19.”