Clofamizine, a leprosy drug, is effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection

Clofamizine, a drug used to treat leprosy, is effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection in human cells and hamsters, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature.

Clofamizine is a safe drug that can be taken orally and has a low manufacturing cost, three aspects that make it a potentially attractive candidate for treating covid-19.

In the study, researchers led by Sumit Chanda, a virologist at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, California, tested the drug’s efficacy against coronaviruses and found that it was able to inhibit the replication of two of them (SARS-CoV-2 and Middle East MERS-CoV) in human and monkey cell cultures and in human lung tissue. In a hamster model infected with SARS-CoV-2, administration of clofamizine before or shortly after infection significantly reduced the number of viral particles found in the lungs.

In addition, when this drug was administered together with remdesivir, both drugs acted synergistically in reducing viral replication. A low dose of remdesivir combined with clofamizine significantly improved viral control in the hamster model, according to the study.

The authors believe clofamizine could be an attractive candidate for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, MERS and possibly other coronaviruses, but will need to be tested in clinical trials to confirm its potential as a treatment option.

EFE- transl.deepl – photo Maggy Parries