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Repurposing Ivermectin for COVID-19: Molecular Aspects and Therapeutic Possibilities

Wehbe et al., Front. Immunol., doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.663586
Mar 2021  
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Ivermectin for COVID-19
4th treatment shown to reduce risk in August 2020
*, now known with p < 0.00000000001 from 102 studies, recognized in 22 countries.
No treatment is 100% effective. Protocols combine complementary and synergistic treatments. * >10% efficacy in meta analysis with ≥3 clinical studies.
4,000+ studies for 60+ treatments.
Review of how ivermectin was identified for use in COVID-19, mechanisms of action, and selected clinical trials.
Wehbe et al., 30 Mar 2021, peer-reviewed, 7 authors.
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Repurposing Ivermectin for COVID-19: Molecular Aspects and Therapeutic Possibilities
Zena Wehbe, Maya Wehbe, Rabah Iratni, Gianfranco Pintus, Hassan Zaraket, Hadi M Yassine, Ali H Eid
Frontiers in Immunology, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.663586
As of January 2021, SARS-CoV-2 has killed over 2 million individuals across the world. As such, there is an urgent need for vaccines and therapeutics to reduce the burden of COVID-19. Several vaccines, including mRNA, vector-based vaccines, and inactivated vaccines, have been approved for emergency use in various countries. However, the slow roll-out of vaccines and insufficient global supply remains a challenge to turn the tide of the pandemic. Moreover, vaccines are important tools for preventing the disease but therapeutic tools to treat patients are also needed. As such, since the beginning of the pandemic, repurposed FDA-approved drugs have been sought as potential therapeutic options for COVID-19 due to their known safety profiles and potential anti-viral effects. One of these drugs is ivermectin (IVM), an antiparasitic drug created in the 1970s. IVM later exerted antiviral activity against various viruses including SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we delineate the story of how this antiparasitic drug was eventually identified as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. We review SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle, the role of the nucleocapsid protein, the turning points in past research that provided initial 'hints' for IVM's antiviral activity and its molecular mechanism of action-and finally, we culminate with the current clinical findings.
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS AE generated the concept. ZW and MW wrote the first draft. All authors revised the manuscript and approved it before submission. HY generated funding. Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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