Sri Lankan scientists claim possible preventive novel coronavirus treatment

ECONOMYNEXT – A team of Sri Lankan medical researchers announced a possible prophylactic (preventive) treatment for the novel coronavirus using existing FDA-approved drugs.

Scientists representing the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IBMBB) at the University of Colombo claimed that a computer model revealed that these drugs could hypothetically be used to prevent a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

The research team includes IBMBB scientists Dr Sameera R Samarakoon, Dr Kanishka Senathilake and Prof Kamani Thennekoon.

Samarakoon declined to name the drugs until publication of the team’s findings “in the coming days”.

The drugs, approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are hypothesised to act as a preventative treatment for the virus, Samarook told EconomyNext.

“We carried out research based on computer-based drug designing methods. We have not shared our findings with the scientific community yet,” he said.

Asked about the purported discovery, Chief Epidemiologist of the Epidemiology Unit Dr Sudath Samaraweera told EconomyNext that the Epidemiology Unit has yet to receive any information regarding the research.

According to the situation report issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday (19), a total of 75,204 coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally out of which 74,280 cases were reported from mainland China. (Colombo/Feb20/2020)

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