New drug combination effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection

More countries with greater resources are opening up for a more normal life. But COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus are still a significant threat in large parts of the world.

The lack of medicines that are effective, easy to distribute and easy to obtain are a significant part of the problem.

However, recent research on a new drug combination is showing promising results. The combined use of nafamostat and Pegasys (IFNα) meets all availability and efficacy requirements.

Effective in the laboratory

"This combination effectively suppresses the infection," says Professor Denis Kainov at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine (IKOM).

The experiments were performed in cell cultures and hamsters. This does not necessarily mean that the combination works in humans, but it is a good sign.

Nafamostat is already in use as a monotherapy against COVID-19 and is undergoing extensive testing in Japan, among other places. Pegasys (IFNα) is currently used mainly to treat hepatitis C. Combining the two appears to have a positive effect.

"Both drugs attack a factor in our cells called TMPRSS2, which plays a critical role in viral replication," says Magnar Bjørås, a professor in the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

This could be a hot tip for researchers who are already testing nafamostat in the fight against COVID-19.

Low dosage needed

Only low doses of the combination medicine are needed, as well.

"The low doses of the drugs in combination may have several clinical advantages. including fewer adverse events and improved outcomes for patients," says Aleksandr Ianevski, a doctoral research fellow affiliated with the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

In other words, the combination medicine can both save lives and make life easier for patients. Nafamostat is relatively inexpensive. The downside of Pegasys (IFNα) is its higher cost.

Officially, 4.55 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide. But unreported numbers are most likely very large in parts of the world where the cause of death is not always accurately recorded.

The research group is very international, but has its focus in Norway. NTNU's research partners include Oslo University Hospital (Rikshospitalet), the University of Oslo, the French precision medicine company Oncodesign, the University of Tartu in Estonia and the University of Helsinki.

Ianevski, A, Yao R. Lysvand H, Grødeland G, Legrand N, Oksenych V, Zusinaite E, Tenson T, Bjørås M, Kainov DE.
Nafamostat–Interferon-α Combination Suppresses SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vitro and In Vivo by Cooperatively Targeting Host TMPRSS2.
Viruses 2021, 13, 1768. doi: 10.3390/v13091768

Most Popular Now

Therapy using dual immune system cells effectively…

A newly developed immunotherapy that simultaneously uses modified immune-fighting cells to home in on and attack two antigens, or foreign substances, on cancer cells was ...

How to develop new drugs based on merged datasets

Polymorphs are molecules that have different molecular packing arrangements despite identical chemical compositions. In a recent paper, researchers at GlaxoSmithKline (GS...

New drug combination effective against SARS-CoV-2 …

More countries with greater resources are opening up for a more normal life. But COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus are still a significant threat in large parts of the wo...

Cleveland Clinic study suggests steroid nasal spra…

A recent Cleveland Clinic study found that patients who regularly use steroid nasal sprays are less likely to develop severe COVID-19-related disease, including a 20 to 2...

Sanofi to focus its COVID-19 development efforts o…

Recent positive interim results of Sanofi's mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate Phase 1/2 study confirm the company's platform robust capabilities and strategy in mRNA...

Discovery of mechanics of drug targets for COVID-1…

A team of international researchers, including McGill Professor Stéphane Laporte, have discovered the working mechanism of potential drug targets for various diseases suc...

Phase II/III trial shows Ronapreve™ (casirivimab a…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today confirmed positive data from the phase II/III 2066 study, investigating Ronapreve™ (casirivimab and imdevimab) in patients hospit...

Pfizer and BioNTech receive first U.S. FDA Emergen…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized for emergency use a booster dose of the P...

AZD7442 request for Emergency Use Authorization fo…

AstraZeneca has submitted a request to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for AZD7442, its long-acting antibody (LAAB) com...

Pfizer and BioNTech receive CHMP positive opinion …

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE, "Pfizer") and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, "BioNTech") today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the Europea...

Boehringer Ingelheim acquires Abexxa Biologics to …

Boehringer Ingelheim announced the acquisition of Abexxa Biologics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company taking a new approach in the fields of immuno-oncology and oncology r...

GSK welcomes WHO recommendation for broad roll-out…

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plc welcomes and applauds the WHO recommendation for the broader deployment of GSK's RTS,S malaria vaccine to reduce childhood illness and deaths fr...