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Researchers Identify a Promising New Antiviral Drug to Treat COVID-19

Plitidepsin is derived from Aplidium albicans, a marine organism that typically attaches itself to hard surfaces, such as reefs.

The search for better medical treatments for COVID-19 has led a team of scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, with colleagues in San Francisco, to plitidepsin—a promising small molecule drug derived from a sea organism. When tested in human lung cells, plitidepsin was particularly effective in stopping the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In fact, in pre-clinical trials, plitidepsin was 28-fold more effective than remdesivir—the only antiviral drug currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) to treat COVID-19. Referring a patient is easy.

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