Scientists have made a promising breakthrough in treating Covid-19 infections. According to a new study, there’s a readily available cholesterol medicine that can effectively fight against the virus and reduce the risk of passing it along to others.
Researchers in the UK and Italy looked at more than 100 licensed drugs hoping to find ones that could be repurposed as Covid treatments. In their laboratory tests, a cholesterol prescription called fenofibrates was shown to disrupt the way the virus attaches to cells in our bodies, lowering the level of infection and severity of symptoms by up to 70 percent.
Study author Dr. Alan Richardson explained to Medical News Today, “Because the drug affects multiple targets, not just the spike protein, it will be harder for resistance to develop, so new variants should not be able to escape the effect.”
The team saw potentially game-changing results against both Alpha and Beta variants and are currently looking into how well it works with the Delta variant. “We are cautiously very excited,” co-author Dr. Farhat Khanim said. “The drug seems to work irrespective of spike mutations.”
Fenofibrates were developed in the 1980s to treat cholesterol, but quickly replaced by statins as a more popular treatment option. Depending on how well further testing goes, it might find a new life as the answer to lowering the number of Covid hospitalizations and losses.
By lowering the level of infection so drastically, this treatment may help those infected overcome the virus quicker, keeping them out of the hospital, and preventing it from spreading. It could also be especially useful for those who have other medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus or unable to get a vaccine.
More research is being done on other treatment options for Covid-19, too, including human studies that are currently looking for volunteers. Here’s hoping we end up finding plenty of ways to finally stop the virus from causing so much hardship for us all!