A group of visiting professors at Tokyo University of Science, Koichi Watashi, have found a multidrug combination that effectively eliminates the growth of the new coronavirus from already approved drugs.This result was obtained through joint research (Note) of 25 laboratories and projects in Japan and overseas.

 Using the new coronavirus isolated at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the research group examined the effect of about 300 approved drugs that have already been clinically approved for some diseases on viral replication.We found that five of them suppress cell damage caused by viral proliferation, and we paid particular attention to nelfinavir and cepharanthin.

 Nelfinavir is an anti-HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) treatment drug, and cepharanthin is a drug used for leukopenia, alopecia, and pit viper bites.Each of these strongly reduced the viral RNA released from infected cells to a maximum of 1% or less per day, and had stronger activity than lopinavir, chloroquine, and favipiravir, which are currently candidates for treatment.In addition, the combined use of nelfinavir and cepharanthin was able to eliminate the virus from infected cells below the detection limit in one day.

 In addition, as a result of mathematical analysis predicting how effective the dose actually used in clinical practice is for virus elimination, the cumulative viral load decreased to about 9% with nelfinavir (oral administration) monotherapy, and the virus was eliminated. The period has been shortened by about 4 days.In addition, the combined treatment of nelfinavir (oral administration) and cepharanthin (intravenous administration) further enhanced the effect, and the cumulative viral load was about 7%, and the shortening period until virus elimination was about 5.5 days.

 The results suggest new treatments for the new coronavirus and provide useful insights into suppressing new transmission of the virus.

Note: National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo Science University, Kyushu University, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Tsukuba University, Nagahama Bio University, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Indiana University, National International Medical Research Center, Hokkaido University, Tokyo University, Oxford University and others participated.

Paper information:[BioRxiv] Multi drug treatment with nelfinavir and cepharanthine against COVID-19

reference:[Tokyo University of Science] Discovery of approved drugs that are candidates for the treatment of new coronavirus-Effect of eliminating new coronavirus by combined use of nelfinavir and cepharanthin drug-

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