It’s all very well to have new vaccines: but what do you do with people who have already got the virus, and may be very ill indeed? So far, clinicians have tried dexamethasone and remdesivir. Now preliminary results from a multinational team suggest that a new drug called Plitidepsin may be even more effective yet.
Adolfo-García-Sastre of Mount Sinai University in New York heads up a truly diverse team of experts from UCSF, the Pasteur Institute and biotechnologists Pharmamar. They’ve been combing a vast variety of sources for possible new treatments. Plitidepsin, extracted from a humble sea creature called Applidium albicans was originally developed as a drug for cancer. But by blocking the action of the protein which the virus needs to take over your cells, it could have enormous therapeutic benefits for people who already have the virus. We’ve showcased Nuño Dominguez in El País for your story today, so you’ll need a translator app. But the English language media should be on to it
We think there’s lots of lessons for LSS readers here. First, the drug was found in an obscure sea squirt.* So let’s stop polluting the oceans and killing everything in them-there may be more goodies out there. Secondly, the future clearly lies in multi-talented, multinational teams. But if they’re working across continents, they’ll need all kinds of logistic support. What an opportunity for makers of conferencing software, translation programmes and blended international cuisine for meetings! Thirdly, the more science you do, the more pay-off you get. How about asking the world’s richest 100 people to loan 10% of their fortunes to set up and run an International Medical Research Institute? It’s a thought.
#plitidepsin #remdesivir #dexamethasone #covid-19 #sars-CoV-2 #coronavirus