September 22, 2022

Common antihistamine nasal spray identified as potential anti-COVID-19 drug – COVID-19

Azelastine, an antihistamine currently available as a nasal spray, has been identified as a potential topical preventive or post-exposure anti-COVID-19 approach.

Azelastine was among several drugs in the COVID-19 Drug Reassignment Project of CEBINA GmbH (Vienna, Austria) for the identification of commonly used approved drugs with activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in in vitro tests. CEBINA applied a computational approach, integrating several software tools and novel analysis of biological pathways, to identify potential anti-COVID-19 drugs. This approach was supplemented by in vitro viral infection tests with SARS-CoV-2 which showed that five generic drugs exhibited anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. The most potent of the drugs identified, azelastine is available as a topically applied product and has only modest side effects.

“As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, the identification of Azelastine presents a very promising preventive and / or post-exposure anti-COVID-19 solution, especially since this drug is widely available as a nasal spray and can work directly. at the initial site of viral infection, ”said Eszter Nagy, MD PhD, CEO and Founder of CEBINA. “We are working to confirm our results in a clinical study, in particular the observation that a significantly lower dose might be effective. A lower dose should reduce known side effects, which are not significant although potentially unpleasant and could differentiate between COVID-19 and anti-allergic indications. “

“We are delighted to see that our in-silico approach has led to the identification of existing and readily available drugs that have proven their anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, as these findings may have an immediate beneficial effect in combating COVID-. 19 “, said Professor Robert Konrat, structural biologist at the University of Vienna.

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