Scientists in Australia have found that an anti-parasitic drug available on the market “can kill” the growing cell culture of the deadly coronavirus within 48 hours.
However, researchers say the drug cannot be used in humans for COVID-19 until further testing and clinical trials prove its safety and effectiveness.
“Scientists showed that a single dose of the drug, Ivermectin, could stop the SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] virus growing in cell culture,” said a statement by Melbourne-based Monash University, where the research is based.
“Scientists showed that a single dose of the drug, Ivermectin, could stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture,” the statement said.
“The potential use of Ivermectin to combat COVID-19 remains unproven, and depends on funding to progress the work into the next stages,” the statement added.
Ivermectin has also been effective against HIV, dengue, influenza and the Zika virus.
After originating in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe from China.
The virus has infected some 1.5 million people worldwide, while some 332,000 people recovered from the disease, according to data compiled by the U.S.' Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 90,000 have died.