An anti-parasitic head lice drug that is easily available worldwide has been discovered to kill coronavirus in the lab within 48 hours, a study has claimed.
A study at Monash University of Melbourne, has found that a single dose of the drug Ivermectin( head lice drug) could kill the COVID-19 from growing in cell culture.
‘We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA (effectively removed all genetic material of the virus) by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,’ Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Dr Kylie Wagstaff said on Friday.
The study, however, did not explain how Ivermectin works on the virus, the drug likely stops the virus reducing the host cells’ ability to clear it.
Reports said the next step is to determine the correct human dosage, to make sure the level used in vitro is safe for humans.
Dr Wagstaff added, “In times when we’re having a global pandemic and there isn’t an approved treatment, if we had a compound that was already available around the world then that might help people sooner.
“Realistically it’s going to be a while before a vaccine is broadly available.”
It could be at least month before human trials would begin and funding would be needed to be able to go forward with the pre-clinical and clinical trials.
Right now there is no defensive vaccine for coronavirus, but scientists are contesting to find a vaccination to stop the proliferation and treat the sick.
Meanwhile, in UK, Germany, USA, Australia and China are all working around the clock to find a vaccine for the deadly virus.