British scientists have come to the conclusion that the herbal preparation, thapsigargin, is capable of destroying coronavirus cells with its short-term use. The results of their research are presented in the journal Virulence.
It is noted that thapsigargin is a broad spectrum antineoplastic and antiviral drug. Its active ingredient is obtained from the umbrella plant Thapsia gargantea. The drug has previously been reported to trigger an innate immune response against colds. coronaviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A. They are all major types of human respiratory viruses.
However, in February of this year, scientists at the University of Nottingham, along with colleagues from the China Agricultural University, found that thapsigargin is also effective against the alpha, beta and delta variants of SARS-CoV-2. Tests have shown that the effect of the drug prevents the re-creation of the virus in cells for at least two days after one application. At the same time, thapsigargin blocked SARS-CoV-2 species by more than 95% compared to the control group. The same result was observed in cases where a person was infected with several variants of the coronavirus at the same time.
The study notes that for the complete destruction of the virus in some cases, it is enough to take a small amount of the drug.
Scientists expressed the hope that thapsigargin will be used as a preventive and active therapeutic agent for COVID-19. At the same time, the safety of the drug has already been tested in clinical trials.
Earlier, specialists from the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Russian Academy of Sciences, together with other domestic research teams, developed a drug based on monoclonal antibodies that can “ neutralize '' COVID-19, including the delta strain.