Feb 14, 2020 - Health

New testing for coronavirus emerges from MERS, Ebola anti-virals

MERs is in the same family as the novel coronavirus which began to infect patients in Wuhan, China
MERs is in the same family as the novel coronavirus which began to infect patients in Wuhan, China. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Scientists and doctors are exploring whether existing treatments for HIV, Ebola and malaria could combat the coronavirus, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Driving the news: The antiviral remdesivir protected monkeys from MERS, another coronavirus, both before and after exposure, the National Institute of Health announced Thursday.

The medication, made by Gilead, has been used in experiments to fight Ebola, and has also been used to keep SARS from replicating in animals.

  • Two other drugs for Ebola and malaria are being used on Chinese patients — one to disrupt covis-19's genetic material and the other to keep the coronavirus from penetrating cells, respectively.
  • Doctors are also looking at HIV medication that could block an enzyme the virus needs to mature, per LAT.

Why it matters: An anti-viral or immunotherapy that's already been proven safe could be a faster solution to slowing down infections. But their effectiveness against the coronavirus still has to be tested.

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