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Enisamium Could be a Potential Treatment for COVID-19

Researchers from the USA and Europe have demonstrated that the influenza drug enisamium could be a potential treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Enisamium is clinically approved for use against influenza in 11 countries. The researchers revealed that enisamium could inhibit the growth of SARS-CoV-2 in normal human bronchial epithelial cells and a human colon epithelial cancer cell line. They also conducted an in vitro assay showing that the metabolite VR17-04 directly inhibits the RNA synthesis activity of the SARS-CoV-2 nsp12/7/8 complex.

The research team conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 373 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who need medical care. Participants received either enisamium (500 mg per dose) or placebo for 7 days. An interim analysis showed that among those who required supplementary oxygen (n=77), enisamium significantly improved the meantime to recovery, compared with placebo (11.1 versus 13.9 days). The researchers say the findings suggest that enisamium is an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 RNA synthesis and shortens recovery time among COVID-19 patients who require oxygen supplementation.

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