from Merck and Pfizer. They might be coming in to play soon, tests look promising.
Pfizer's new drug therapy is a protease inhibitor that is very similar to an HCV compound approved in 2011 called Boceprevir. Protease inhibitors often work because they can be effective disruptors of the main enzyme virus' need to replicate. In sars-cov2 The enzyme is called 3CLpro.
Antiviral drug development for COVID-19 took a back seat to vaccines during the brief time – when we thought that ending the pandemic was simply a matter of getting enough needles in enough arms. But the virus had other ideas: variants. Now it's looking like we may need a drug to complement the vaccines. Three are in development. Here's a look at Pfizer's PF-07321332. It
Emerging outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a major threat to public health. The morbidity is increasing due to lack of SARS-CoV-2 specific drugs. Herein, we have identified potential drugs that target the 3-chymotrypsin like protease (3CLpro), the main protease that is pivotal for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Computational molecular modeling was used to screen 3987 FDA approved drugs, and 47 drugs were selected to study their inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 specific 3CLpro enzyme in vitro. Our results indicate that boceprevir, ombitasvir, paritaprevir, tipranavir, ivermectin, and micafungin exhibited inhibitory effect towards 3CLpro enzymatic activity. The 100 ns molecular dynamics simulation studies showed that ivermectin may require homodimeric form of 3CLpro enzyme for its inhibitory activity. In summary, these molecules could be useful to develop highly specific therapeutically viable drugs to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 replication either alone or in combination with drugs specific for other SARS-CoV-2 viral targets. Here, the authors identify potential drugs that target 3-chymotrypsin like protease (3CLpro), which is a pivotal protease for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. They found that off-target inhibitors such as ivermectin and micafungin inhibit 3CLpro enzyme activity, suggesting that these molecules could constitute useful therapies to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication.
I pay special attention to studies not done by Pfizer. Cracks me up when someone cites a Pfizer study on the vaccine they want to sell. Most studies list conflicts of interest. Israel has done some as well showing the same thing. Pfizer finally admitted what Israel found. But has anyone seen the Pfizer study? In fact the FDA won't approve the boosters because they're waiting on more data from..... Pfizer.
Anyway.... This one seems well done. It is interesting to note the mRNA antibodies are actually highly effective against Delta. More than several other strains. But they decline more rapidly over time with delta than any other variant.
And of course what's missing.... This same study on people who got covid and natural immunity. When something isn't done that should be... You can assume it's not good news. Also interesting they measured T cell response as well as antibodies. T cell response could be an area where natural immunity shines. Because it doesn't with the vaccines. Where are the studies like this on the millions of recovered people?
Treatment is a better hope than vaccines IMO. This isn't a vaccine preventable disease. It isn't a vaccine stopping disease. At this point vaccines only help you survive it without a hospital bed. I'm sure there are treatments similarly effective. Combined may be even better.
Vaccines reduce hospitalizations / deaths but do not prevent infection. Therapeutics help reduce severity.
Hospitalizations will decrease due to both _ so the short term impact will pass; perhaps already seeing that trend.
I have some personal experience with ICU availability. Fortunately there was a good outcome when an ICU nurse came in (his choice) on a Saturday night to stay with a grandchild who had a skull fracture / concussion. If this nurse didn’t come in, the child was going to be transferred to another hospital a good distance away. Just one anecdotal story.