Anti-leprosy drug also effective against COVID-19
Clofazimine has been used for leprosy patients since 1969. Research with test tubes and golden Syrian hamsters have yielded exceptional results.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A drug used against leprosy has had good results against COVID-19.
A study conducted by researchers in Hong Kong, the United States and Denmark shows that clofazimine has the ability of attacking and suppressing SARS-CoV-2.
The results of the research were published in the latest issue of Nature, a prestigious international scientific journal.
The first trial involved test tubes and then golden Syrian hamsters. One team member, Prof Yuen Kwok-yung, called the results "very exciting."
Clofazimine appears capable of blocking the coronavirus from entering cells by disrupting its genetic replication.
In addition to stopping the virus in the test tube, the drug was able to suppress the viral load in the lungs of golden Syrian hamsters, reduce lung damage and prevent cytokine storm, a severe immune reaction triggered by the coronavirus.
Results so far are just part of phase one of the study. In order to develop a treatment based on clofazimine, it will be necessary to go through two more clinical trials with more volunteers.
Clofazimine has been used to fight leprosy since 1969.