AUG 22, 2020 9:21 AM PDT

Could a Drug for Bipolar Disorder Treat COVID-19?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers have found that a drug currently used to treat bipolar disorder and hearing loss may also treat COVID-19 thanks to itsantibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Known as Ebselen, the new findings come after previous research showing it is able to block enzymes known as ‘Mpro’ that are necessary for the coronavirus to replicate in healthy cells. 

For the most recent study, researchers from the University of Chicago created computer models to understand how the drug and Mpro interact. In the end, they found that Ebelsen is able to bind to two different sites on the enzyme- both key for its function and ability to replicate. 

These findings suggest that Ebelsen may be a good drug candidate to treat COVID-19- especially as it is already in use, demonstrating its safety. The researchers also say that the drug highlights another vulnerability of the coronavirus that scientists may want to continue to investigate as the search for other drug candidates persist. 

Although promising results, however, the researchers also say that a lot more research is needed before they can properly determine how effective the drug may be at treating COVID-19. While computer models show it may be effective, real-life trials outside of the lab are needed to confirm its effectiveness. 

As such, while research may advance on this drug candidate, the researchers plan to focus their research on finding ore of SARS-CoV-2’s weak spots. 

“The main protease is one of many proteins in the virus that could be targeted with existing, repurposed drugs, and there are thousands of compounds to be considered,” says Professor Juan de Pablo, one of the study’s authors. 

“We are systematically investigating each of the proteins involved in the virus function and investigating their vulnerabilities and their responses to a wide range of drugs.”

 

Sources: Science AdvancesMedical News Today

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
You May Also Like
APR 17, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Facebook AI May Speed up Cancer Drug Discovery
APR 17, 2021
Facebook AI May Speed up Cancer Drug Discovery
Facebook has claimed that its new artificial intelligence, known as 'Compositional Perturbation Autoencoder' (CP ...
APR 14, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Anti-Aging Compound Improves Glucose Uptake
APR 14, 2021
Anti-Aging Compound Improves Glucose Uptake
According to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, a substance shown to counteract aspe ...
MAY 02, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Medical Cannabis for Epilepsy May Be Linked to Early Puberty
MAY 02, 2021
Medical Cannabis for Epilepsy May Be Linked to Early Puberty
Current research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be effective in managing seizures in childhood-onset epilepsy. ...
JUN 21, 2021
Cardiology
Researchers Find Evidence That Gut Microbes Affect Stroke Severity
JUN 21, 2021
Researchers Find Evidence That Gut Microbes Affect Stroke Severity
Research has indicated that there is a connection between gut microbes and heart health. Now scientists are revealing so ...
JUN 22, 2021
Neuroscience
Virtual Reality Game Provides Pain Relief for Children
JUN 22, 2021
Virtual Reality Game Provides Pain Relief for Children
Researchers led by Ohio State University have found that smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) games can relieve pain fr ...
JUL 12, 2021
Health & Medicine
Is Caffeine Good or Bad for Migraines?
JUL 12, 2021
Is Caffeine Good or Bad for Migraines?
The short answer is it's still not certain if caffeine helps or worsens migraines, but chronic consumption of caffei ...
Loading Comments...