A widely used and well known blockbuster molecule in Animal Health Industry – Ivermectin- may have potential to be an important medicine for control of novel-Corona Virus in human beings, apart from hydroxyl-chloroquine.
Ivermectin approved for usage both in human beings and animals – is a broad spectrum antiparasiticide.Ivermectin was previously known to have efficacy against a number of viruses including Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1, however, latest research report from Monash University in Australia has shown its in-vitro efficacy against novel corona virus.
Published in the journal Antiviral Research, the study from Monash University showed that a single dose of Ivermectin could stop the coronavirus growing in cell culture -- effectively eradicating all genetic material of the virus within two days.
“We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours, there was a really significant reduction” said study co-author Dr. Kylie Wagstaff.
“Ivermectin is very widely used and is seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective – that’s the next steps” said Wagstaff.
The study also proposed that benchmarking testing of Ivermectin as soon as it is feasible against other potential antiviral medications for SARS-CoV-2 with different mechanisms of action is crucial. It is also critical that further evaluation and examination of multiple addition dosing regimens that replicate current approved usage of the drug in humans be conducted for possible benefit in COVID-19 patients.
This study may only be timely as it comes at crucial time with the global spread of CoVid-19 and reported cases exceeding 1 million as on 5th of April 2020.
Key points on efficacy of Ivermectin:
Ivermectin is an inhibitor of COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 in vitro
A single treatment has been demonstrated to effect ~ 5000 fld reduction in virus at 48 hours in cell culture
Ivermectin is already approved by US FDA as well as regulatory authorities in most of the countries in the world and hence can be rapidly re-purposed for COVID-19
Relatively inexpensive and widely available