An affordable anti-microbial drug used to treat stomach ulcers and bacterial infections has shown promise in combatting the coronavirus in animals, scientists in Hong Kong announced Monday.
Researchers set out to explore whether metallodrugs — compounds containing metal that are more commonly used against bacteria — might also have anti-viral properties that could fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Using Syrian hamsters as tests subjects, they found that one of the drugs, ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC), was “a potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent”.
“RBC is able to lower the viral load in the lung of the infected hamster by tenfold,” Hong Kong University researcher Runming Wang told reporters on Monday as the team presented their study.
“Our findings demonstrate that RBC is a potential anti-viral agent for Covid-19.”
The coronavirus has killed more than a million people since it first emerged in China last December and then spread across the globe.
As scientists scramble