Scientists published a publication on nature.com on Thursday suggesting that amantadine should be considered as a treatment for coronavirus
Twelve scientists, including from Greece and Germany, prepared the research and work. In the article they write, inter alia:
The urgent need to treat COVID-19 has inspired strategies to reuse approved drugs. Amantadine has been suggested and cellular and clinical studies have shown beneficial effects of this drug. In our study, we show that amantadine and hexamethylene amiloride (HMA) block the activity of the E protein ion channel of SARS-CoV-2, the conservative viroporin among coronaviruses. These findings are confirmed by protein E binding as assessed by solution NMR simulations and molecular dynamics. In addition, we identify two new SARS-CoV-2 viroporins; ORF7b and ORF10, showing the activity of the ion channel in the oocyte expression system (X. laevis). It is noteworthy that amantadine also blocks ORF10 ion channel activity, thus providing two ion channel targets in SARS-CoV-2 for amantadine treatment in COVID-19 patients. Screening of known viroporin inhibitors on protein E, ORF7b, ORF10 and protein 3a from SARS-CoV-2 revealed inhibition of protein E and ORF7b by emodine and xanthene, which also blocked protein 3a. This illustrates the overall potential of the well-known ion channel blockers against SARS-CoV-2, and in particular the dual molecular basis of the promising effects of amantadine in the treatment of COVID-19.
In 2020, preliminary studies were conducted on the possibility of using amantadine in the treatment of COVID-19:
The Mancilla – Galindo 2020 study is the trial with the highest level of confidence in the available scientific evidence for the clinical effectiveness of amantadine in COVID-19. Despite the demonstrated benefits in reducing the risk of death in selected subpopulations, the authors of the study argue that the use of amantadine in the treatment of COVID-19 is unnecessary until higher quality evidence is obtained from randomized clinical trials.
The authors of the Aranda-Abreu 2020 study conclude that amantadine is effective in the treatment of COVID-19, healing patients without the need for hospitalization and mechanical ventilation. It should be noted that the majority of patients, in addition to amantadine, received azithromycin, celecoxib and acetylsalicylic acid.
The authors of the Rejdak 2020 study, which is a cross-sectional study conducted on the Polish population (patients with neurological diseases), indicate that amantadine may be protective and may be effective in limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the occurrence of its neurological consequences.
Full publication: is available here