In a study by scientists from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil, the drug also reduced the production of inflammatory substances associated with severe cases of Covid-19.
In vitro tests carried out by scientists from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil, reveal that drugs currently used in the treatment of hepatitis C are able to inhibit the replication of Sars-CoV-2. In an article published in June in the preprint repository bioRxiv, not yet peer-reviewed, the researchers explain that they analyzed the antivirals daclatasvir and sofosbuvir against the new coronavirus.
According to the researchers, daclatasvir was more successful: the drug interrupted the synthesis of the genetic material of three strains of the new coronavirus, preventing the replication of the microorganism. In addition, the drug reduced the production of inflammatory substances associated with severe cases of Covid-19.
“Considering that direct action antivirals against the hepatitis C virus are among the safest, our results indicate that these drugs, especially daclatasvir, are candidates for treatment, with the potential to be immediately incorporated into clinical trials,” said Thiago Moreno, the study leader, in a statement to the press.
The effectiveness of the drugs was compared to other drugs that are also being tested for the treatment of Covid-19. According to the study, daclatasvir proved to be 1.1 to 4 times more effective than chloroquine and the Lopinavir/ritonavir combination, drugs that are also being studied against the disease.
The researchers point out, however, that those with suspected infection with the new coronavirus should not self-medicate in order to treat or prevent Covid-19. The recommended procedures are still good hygiene, wearing a face mask, social distancing, and seeking medical attention when experiencing symptoms of the disease.