Aussie scientists discover COVID-19 killing drug

An Australian study has shown that an anti-parasitic drug kills the COVID-19 virus in vitro.

Aussies discover virus-killing drug

A Monash University-led study has shown that an anti-parasitic drug, already available worldwide, kills the COVID-19 virus within 48 hours.

Dr Kylie Wagstaff, who led the study, said the scientists showed that the drug, Ivermectin, stopped the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture within 48 hours.

“We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,” Dr Wagstaff said.

Ivermectin is an FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug that has also been shown to be effective in vitro against a broad range of viruses including HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika virus. 

Dr Wagstaff cautioned that the tests conducted in the study were in vitro and that trials needed to be carried out in people.

“Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective – that’s the next step,” Dr Wagstaff said.

“In times when we’re having a global pandemic and there isn’t an approved treatment, if we had a compound that was already available around the world then that might help people sooner. Realistically it’s going to be a while before a vaccine is broadly available.”

Although the mechanism by which Ivermectin works on the virus is not known, it is likely, based on its action in other viruses, that it works to stop the virus ‘dampening down’ the host cells’ ability to clear it, Dr Wagstaff said.

Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Dr Leon Caly, a senior medical scientist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, where the experiments with live coronavirus were conducted, is the study’s first author.

“As the virologist who was part of the team who were first to isolate and share SARS-COV2 outside of China in January 2020, I am excited about the prospect of Ivermectin being used as a potential drug against COVID-19,” Dr Caly said.

Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos praised the researchers but also warned people against misusing the substance until it was fully tested.

"There is no reason to be buying lice treatment unless you're going to be using it on your children's hair," Ms Mikakos said during a press conference updating Victorians on the coronavirus pandemic.

"I just want to stress that, because we've heard about people overseas who have heard about potential developments and then have ingested drugs that have been used in a completely inappropriate way and have died as a result.

"I don't want to see people rushing out to their pharmacies or their supermarkets buying lice treatments now because scientists are doing this work.

"It is lethal to swallow this shampoo. We will end up with people in hospital."

Ms Mikakos also expressed concern people might hoard the drug, leaving none for those who needed it for proven uses — something that has happened with other medicines.

How long do you think it will be before we have a fully tested cure for the coronavirus? Are you excited by this latest breakthrough?

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    COMMENTS

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    Handyman18
    8th Apr 2020
    9:24am
    If this is a possible cure and there is a risk people will buy it and misuse or hoard it, then the gov should be ordering that it be removed from the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies immediately. Supply can then be limited to its intended use by prescription only, be it for head lice or any other use.
    The Thinker
    8th Apr 2020
    10:24am
    I am sure the drug is toxic, that is the real reason there are warning precautions.

    It's good to see there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Australia doesn't need China to buy it all out. It makes me sick that China's cooperatives cleared our supermarket shelves and everywhere they could of our medical supplies and sent them to China in private planes.

    This knowledge should be made top secret as a preventative. I notice China is not sharing anything besides the virus.
    OJ21
    8th Apr 2020
    10:47am
    I’m sure it is also a cattle pour on for the treatment of worm and fluke. So what happens if you get it on your skin as you sometimes do when treating cattle.
    The Thinker
    12th Apr 2020
    12:55pm
    The drug is being used to treat HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika virus internally it shouldn't be harmful externally.

    You would think it was on the prescription drug list and can only be prescribed by doctors instead of sitting on a chemist shelf.
    Misty
    8th Apr 2020
    10:47am
    Every country affected by this virus should ask China for reparation when everything is back to normal, that is if it ever does, this was done after the 2nd World War and after all China seems to be the source of most of these viruses and it might make them be more careful in the future.
    Lookfar
    9th Apr 2020
    12:44pm
    Fine misty, does that mean we should seek reparations from the US for Neo-liberalism? after all they have done far more damage than the virus has or can do.
    Apologies, YLC, - off topic.
    The Thinker
    12th Apr 2020
    1:18pm
    Since when has China been charitable anywhere? I heard they charge 3% interest for loans that can never be paid back to developing nations.

    Australian parliamentary donations by China have been very generous. It plays a huge influence on our politics and lives.

    The only ones that can't see this are our politicians.
    baza18
    8th Apr 2020
    11:01am
    Misty can you see China paying out....I don't think so. We could just say... Ok then we will just take back all the businesses, land, farms & water of ours that you own!
    wisky171
    8th Apr 2020
    2:47pm
    a surcharge on all goods and services to /from china might do it 5.00 / ton on iron ore for a start at least until all wet markets cease
    Al
    8th Apr 2020
    11:08am
    I've been following this, I agree the drug should become a controlled drug immediately to prevent hoarding etc. Another doctor from the same institute has emphasised that it works to quickly kill the virus in animals and in a small test on humans, but more human testing needs to be completed. The doctor also emphasized that so far we should see it as a treatment and not a vaccine. Whether it could be developed as a vaccine is not yet established. She also mentioned that perhaps it could be used as a preventative medicine but that needs a lot of exploring, for example if the tablet is taken by a non-infected person how long does it stay in the human body, and could the medicine be developed further to make it stay in the human body for a much longer period of time. It's certainly progress to successfully kill the virus after infection, well done.
    john
    8th Apr 2020
    11:44am
    It will be a treatment, it isn't a vaccine.
    A vaccine helps to stop you getting something in the first place to build immunity.
    This if it worked, would be a disease stopper in some individuals!
    The Thinker
    12th Apr 2020
    1:21pm
    john, there is no cure for the virus hepatitis C just a cure. The world will have to change and become more hygienic conscious.
    Teacher
    8th Apr 2020
    11:09am
    I wish this information about a possible drug for the virus hadn't been made known publicly. Now you'll have the black-marketeers buying up all existing stock and unsuspecting customers killing themselves. Anything like this should immediately be made prescription only and then for the virus not lice. That should stop what happened with the toilet paper.
    Misty
    8th Apr 2020
    11:38am
    I agree, this should not have been announced to the public, hope no one goes out and buys this treatment and ingests it, it should be removed from the shelves straight away.
    john
    8th Apr 2020
    11:59am
    I suspect John, that this drug is now under severe restrictions and closely being watched,
    as it's tested, I 'd reckon authorities would be hard down on security now, on anything in the research area that has showed some promise, considering the obscenity of China's avtivities in our country, we soon learn how our friendly trading partner feels about us.
    They do not give a damn about Australia, only what they can get out of it.
    And that is a warning to politicians in this nation that you had better wake up and take notice and relieve us of some of the burden of dealing with this Chinese government that seems to control even Chinese Australians who fear them, what kind of a place creates that for a friend. That is their fake communist system which is in fact a dictatorship.

    And the world needs to sit up and have a close look at how we all deal with this very strange but untrustworthy trader.

    Their generosity in the last day or so needs to be looked at with a careful idea of why they bothered, not so much the generosity but the need to keep face?

    At least the Russians sent a huge planeload of help to America for the right reasons.

    China???
    FANCY LETTING A VIRUS SPECIALIST IN WUHAN WHO TRIED TO WARN PEOPLE OF THIS DANGEROUS VIRUS, GETS DRAGGED AWAY, CONFINED, AND THEN DIES OF THE DISEASE, HIS OWN PEOPLE HAVE DONE THIS TO HIM, THEY JUST DON'T CARE.

    What goes on in the bureaucrat's minds in that place, running in fear of saying the wrong thing then spreading death over the planet. They need to enter the world of decency and humanity in that place, they cannot, well, their government,ent cannot be trusted, I also feel sorry for the people, who seem to run scared, what happens? Does the Chinese Government threaten people in other countries?
    The Thinker
    12th Apr 2020
    1:22pm
    john, you forget that America helped out Russia financially in the past.
    john
    8th Apr 2020
    11:41am
    Whatever it is, if used properly and it works its good news, it'll take time and human testing, but because it's here already, and tested in its form that is used by the virologists it will not be released until the proof has been found, raving about it like hair lice remover is amazing, it must have some chemical in it that does different things when used properly.
    Only very foolish and ignorant people would try and get this stuff and use which ever way they see fit, it could kill them , and I'd be pretty sure Pharmacy s' will not be selkling it over the counter to anybody. As for China , well we all know when it comes to business they are very hard to totally trust, but it's past they've given us this horror lets just beat it!
    Snowflake
    8th Apr 2020
    11:47am
    Aussies discover Covid-19 killing drug. I wish these articles din't have such attention grabbing headlines. More than likely this "breakthrough" won't get here any quicker than the vaccine. Don't give false hope by putting up headlines like that.
    john
    8th Apr 2020
    12:09pm
    Considering the media reputation for terrible headlines to get people to read, or some just pass over and not read at all, but believe the headline! It is a media tactic, and the last few years the media have told lies and opinionated, pontificated over everything, far far beyond their brief!
    But at least this headline was positive, we all just want the news not sensation, but, this testing at higher than normal is happening and what the outcome is the testers don't know yet.
    But it's better than bad news, and they have said it is not human approved anyway yet!
    Al
    8th Apr 2020
    12:17pm
    Actually it's not correct to say that 'aussies discover Covid - 19 killing drug'. The institute in Melbourne has been testing the effectiveness of the drug on the virus with some success. But so have other laboratories across the world. Further it was showing promise in regard to SARS but was sidelined as the SARS problem seemed to naturally reduce and fade. Nevertheless it's looks promising and the national health minister has already publicly promises support for further testing and testing. It's also been announced that human trials will start very quickly. It's not a vaccine, which is still of course urgently needed, my hope is that as well as killing the virus in humans it can be developed further or combined with another medication to be a long-term preventative medication, and taken on a mass scale. Let's hope we see further positive announcements soon.
    Viking
    8th Apr 2020
    3:11pm
    It's not an Australian discovery at all, yet more YLC attention grabbing distortion. Ivermectin was in fact discovered by a Japanese microbiologist Satoshi Omura in the 1960s and further developed in the USA.
    disillusioned
    8th Apr 2020
    11:48am
    Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum anti-parasitic drug used topically to treat a certain skin condition called rosacea, a type of adult acne. I tried it in the form of a topical cream called Soolantra, but it was a bit harsh for my skin. Ivermectin is also used as a drench for horses and can be given orally to chickens. If it can be used against COVID19, it would need a lot of testing, but it's perhaps a start in the right direction!
    john
    8th Apr 2020
    12:21pm
    Of course its a start in the right direction!!!!
    It is a positive and it is maybe only one step, BUT IT IS A STEP FORWARD, anything heading to a better outcome is good.

    I heard about this stuff a couple of days ago, so this news maybe a day or two old, the point in that thinking, is if that's the case, then they are two days ahead of where we think we sit right now! Its good news.

    And that, is all we can hope for initially, I'm dying to see my baby granddaughter I miss her like you wouldn't believe, so anything positive is good for me.

    But I would like to see a huge lift in testing, and testing kits more available so immediate families can connect. My grandchild and her parents like us, are isolated and following the social distancing , but we are in two houses, and we see our little girl all the time, we could isolate together, but we can't.
    With good testing we would be able to ease off close family splits,see who was carrying first.
    So I sweat on every bit of news that brings a hope.

    Everyone should be, so we can kick this in the head, hopefully we can get a treatment for COVID19 because a vaccine may be a long way off yet, but then again every virologist on the planet is looking! POSITIVE FOLKS.
    floss
    8th Apr 2020
    1:03pm
    Baza18 Could we ever see this Government taking or buy back any thing from China they are sellers not buyers.If they can't sell it they just give it away.
    Al
    9th Apr 2020
    2:11pm
    Actually not true, they buy massive amounts of Australian coal and Iron ore and massive amounts of grains from the USA, and large amounts of the precious metals from Australia and other countries, used nowadays in mobile phones, and a lot more products from Japan and Korea etc.
    KSS
    8th Apr 2020
    1:32pm
    It is an abuse of reporting to name the specific drug that was used in laboratory tests. All it will do is start a panic buying of the same drug as has occurred overseas with the promising drug used for treating HIV, and malaria and even the lupus drug.

    What happened in a test tube is not a forgone conclusion to what may happen in the human body. Yes it may be an exciting development but if you were given a dollar for every 'exciting development' that comes from a laboratory you would be a very very rich person.
    miker
    8th Apr 2020
    2:29pm
    Yes, Agreed, that is a better idea. China must be held responsible and liable for the disease that they have unleashed on the world
    Roy R
    8th Apr 2020
    2:41pm
    I agree, China should be held accountable. I think the world should just refuse to repay its debts to China, All Chinese owned land and businesses should be "nationalised" or at least have a majority ownership by the relevant nations people. Just like China requires.
    I also think that we should ignore the desires if huge multi-national companies that get manufacturing made as cheaply as possible just to keep their profits at very high rates.
    Incidentally, this news is a bit old now, isn't it?
    Al
    8th Apr 2020
    5:08pm
    Must be wonderful to be a perfect person or come from a country which is utopian. A little research could easily build a list of reasons to be critical of many countries. A simple example, related to food and organic breakdown, therefore possible disease; I was born in a country town (in Australia) and worked as a kitchen hand in a local restaurant during school holidays, from about 16 years old. The kitchen was way less then clean. The kitchen had a very large walk-in fridge, about every 3 days the owner/chef would lay out all the meat and vegetables and cut off anything starting to decay and wash everything down with a strong bleach solution then rinse it off well. Bottom line, it's a miracle nobody got sick (or maybe they did). I worked in China for many years and it makes me sad to read so much negative about the Chinese. They are no better or worse than folks in any country. A pity more people didn't travel more before they are so quick to copy / repeat negative comments.
    Strummer
    9th Apr 2020
    8:20am
    People feel comfortable having someone to blame, other than themselves of course.
    Strummer
    9th Apr 2020
    8:20am
    People feel comfortable having someone to blame, other than themselves of course.
    Misty
    9th Apr 2020
    11:01am
    Al it is not the Chinese people per se that people are talking about but the people in charge of that country.
    Al
    9th Apr 2020
    11:33am
    I'm not sure about the comment 'it's not a comment about the people, it's a comment about the leadership of that country'. If the general community here in Australia are aware of your point, then why are they abusing Asians on the streets and in supermarkets etc? One answer is clear, the stupid biased comments made by the orange clown in the US. Further any comment about the leadership is quite naive and very uninformed, China today is totally different, totally advanced and professional and well aware of international benchmarks, value added policies good the the community etc. And the leadership are well educated balanced people, many have completed advanced studies in Australia, New Zealand, England, Germany, France and the Scandinavian countries, Canada and the US etc. Twenty years ago I worked with the current leader Mr. Xi Jumping in a massive development project in Shanghai and in Sth. China; he's a well educated man, very balanced, very innovative, a good listener, and well respected, and he's speaks intermediate level English. Such a shame people still see China as a backwards brutal authoritarian total communist country. It's not, th people have freedom, it's a mixed socialist / capitalist country and making good progress towards all Chinese having a good quality of life.
    Misty
    10th Apr 2020
    1:12am
    That is your opinion AL but that is not what I have heard from so many different sources, I also remember seeing photos of apartments being padlocked so the residents could not get out during the recent Corona Virus Pandemic in China and photos of the Chinese people being forcibly bundled into ambulances, this doesn't happen in a free country like ours does it. What about the Australians who have been locked up in jails in China accused of all sorts of things for years, that doesn't happen here either does it.
    Misty
    10th Apr 2020
    1:24am
    Al if China is the wonderful country you say it is why are all those people in Hong Kong and Taiwan protesting?, and if Asians are being abused maybe it is because of the way they are buying up so much of our baby food, medicines etc and sending them back to China, my nephew is married to a Chinese lady so I do get to hear how things are in her homeland right now.
    Realist
    12th Apr 2020
    11:51am
    @AI I agree with many of your sentiments. I abhor racism, I personally have found the Chinese people to be, generous, polite, giving, big hearted and a whole load of other positive attributes. I am no fan of the CCP, as are many Chinese. Indoctrination is a powerful tool.
    Remember it was an Asian Person who discovered Ivermectin.
    Life experience
    12th Apr 2020
    11:44am
    First of all it’s the Chinese Govt I severely dislike. Not the people, they live in fear.
    A cure would mean we could get back to normal as Virus would be no longer be so dangerous. As simple as taking an antibiotic. Great news.
    Bundabergian
    12th Apr 2020
    3:31pm
    Ivermectin is used a lot by horse (and cattle) owners as it is a useful intestinal wormer, as are the rest of its mectin family like moxidectin and abamectin. Articles like these just make deluded souls go and buy/hoard it (it is easily available at farm shops, vets, and horse supplies) but please don't go and take a horse wormer.
    Soap and water also kill the virus. Please don't go and drink that either.


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