- Scientists in Australia found that a common anti-parasitic drug killed coronavirus in the laboratory within 48 hours.
- Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the drug called Ivermectin is often used to treat people suffering from HIV, dengue, influenza, and zika virus.
- Apparently, a single dose of Ivermectin can stop COVID-19 growing in cell culture, effectively and efficiently killing all genetic materials of the virus within two days.
As scientists all over the world scramble to discover and formulate an anti-viral for COVID-19, experts in Australia have discovered that a common drug used against HIV, dengue, influenza, and zika virus may also be used to fight the novel coronavirus.
In a recently-published Antiviral Research journal, Australian scientist lead author Dr. Kylie Wagstaff said that they have discovered that the FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug called “Ivermectin” effectively kills all genetic material of COVID-19 within 48 hours or 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 in it,” Dr. Wagstaff wrote.
Since the study is still in the laboratory stage and the discovery occurred in vitro, Dr. Wagstaff said that they need to test the drugs further to people.
“Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective (and) that’s the next step,” she told the National Herald.
Although she did not mention about the mechanism by which the anti-parasitic drug works on COVID-19, Dr. Wagstaff said it is “likely”, citing how it combats other viruses.
The efficacy of Ivermectin against the novel coronavirus, she explained, depends on pre-clinical testing and clinical trials. Dr. Wagstaff called on stake holders to provide funds, so the team can move forward with their research.
If Ivermectin is found effective in curing COVID-19, Dr. Wagstaff said that it will greatly help people “sooner”, pointing out that having a vaccine may take two years before it becomes available in the market.
In 2012, Dr. Wagstaff with Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Professor David Jans made a breakthrough discovering Ivermectin and its antiviral activity. Jans and his team have been studying Ivermectin for more than 10 years on various viruses.
Dr. Wagstaff and Professor Jans started researching about whether or not Ivermectin can be used against COVID-19 as soon as the pandemic broke out globally.