Flu Drug Shows Promise against SARS-CoV-2 in Rodents

In a new study, a team of scientists from the Rega Institute for Medical Research in Leuven, Belgium, finds that high doses of favipiravir, an influenza drug, strongly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in hamsters.Flu Drug Shows Promise against SARS-CoV-2 in Rodents

For the study, researchers developed a model of COVID-19 in Syrian hamsters, which will provide more reliable data before the results of clinical trials become available.

Prof. Johan Neyts, one of the scientists involved in the research, says: "In the early days of the pandemic, such a model was not yet available. At that time, the only option was to explore in patients whether or not a drug such as hydroxychloroquine could help them. However, testing treatments on hamsters provides crucial information that can prevent the loss of valuable time and energy with clinical trials on drugs that don’t work.

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