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Antiviral medicine used to treat cat coronavirus also works against COVID-19

Researchers at the University of Alberta, USA, are preparing to launch clinical trials of a drug used to cure a deadly disease caused by a coronavirus in cats that they expect will also be effective as a treatment for humans against COVID-19.

The drug is a protease inhibitor that interferes with the virus's ability to replicate, thus ending an infection.

"In just two months, our results have shown that the drug is effective at inhibiting viral replication in cells with COVID-19. This drug is very likely to work in humans, so we're encouraged that it will be an effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19 patients." - Joanne Lemieux (Professor of Biochemistry at University of Alberta, USA).

The current drug shows enough antiviral action against COVID-19 to proceed immediately to clinical trials.

Typically for a drug to go into clinical trials, it has to be confirmed in the lab and then tested in animal models. Because this drug has already been used to treat cats with coronavirus, and it's effective with little to no toxicity, it's already passed those stages and thus allows researchers to move forward quickly to human trials.


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