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How two coronavirus drugs for cats might help humans fight COVID-19


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How two coronavirus drugs for cats might help humans fight COVID-19 | Science News

Preliminary studies suggest treatments meant for felines may hold promise

In the rush to find drugs against COVID-19, researchers are exploring myriad possibilities, even drugs used to save feline lives.

Cats can contract an almost always fatal disease that’s caused by a coronavirus that infects only felines. Now preliminary research suggests that two experimental drugs that can cure that disease in cats, called feline infectious peritonitis, might help treat people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus behind the pandemic.

In lab experiments, one of the drugs, called GC376, disables a key enzyme that some coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, use to replicate. The other, called GS-441524, is an antiviral cousin of remdesivir, the first drug found to speed people’s recovery from SARS-CoV-2 in clinical trials (SN: 4/29/20).

“Both drugs have been highly effective in curing cats with feline infectious peritonitis, and usually without any other form of treatment,” says Niels Pedersen, a veterinarian who studies the feline coronavirus at the University of California, Davis. Neither drug, however, has yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in cats, much less humans.
Apparently we are closely related to carnivora (dogs & cats) so this should not be surprising. GC376 inhibits the key viral enzyme 3CLpro. GS441524 is related to the viral polymerase enzyme remdesivir & was also developed by Gilead. See GS-441524 - Wikipedia It is commercially available for treating cats.
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