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Reduces the concentration of the virus: a cheap drug for cholesterol cures for COVID-19

A recent study found that a drug designed to treat high cholesterol levels also lowers the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 70% and reduces its spread from one person to another. He writes about it Fox8.

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A team of researchers led by the University of Birmingham and Keele University in the UK and the San Raffaele Institute of Science in Italy tested the oral drug fenofibrate and its active form, fenofibric acid, against SARS-COV-2 and found that it reduces the risk of human infection.

Fenofibrate, approved for use in most countries around the world, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK's National Institutes of Health and Medical Services, is currently used to treat conditions such as high cholesterol and abnormal levels fatty substances, or lipids in the blood.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, infects the host through an interaction between the Spike protein on the surface of the virus and the ACE2 receptor protein on the host cells.

On the subject: How long does immunity last after vaccination against COVID-19: data on different drugs

In response to the global pandemic, the team began testing a group of already licensed drugs, including fenofibrate, to see if any of them interfered with the interactions between ACE2 and Spike.

Finding that fenofibrate successfully disrupts interactions, they then tested the effect of the drug on human cells infected with the original strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus isolated in 2020.

According to the report, they found that fenofibrate reduced infection by up to 70%.

Co-author Dr. Eliza Vicenzi of the San Raffaele Science Institute in Milan, Italy said: “Our data shows that fenofibrate may have the potential to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms as well as the spread of the virus. Given that fenofibrate is an oral drug that is very cheap and available globally, together with its extensive clinical history and good safety profile, our data are of global importance, especially in low-middle-income countries and those for whom vaccination is not recommended. "

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The release also says additional unpublished data show that fenofibrate is equally effective against newer SARS-CoV-2 variants, including alpha and beta variants. Research is ongoing to reduce it for delta-variant infections.

The team is now calling for clinical trials of the drug in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

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