Existing Drugs

April 6, 2020

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Anchor lead: How can we tell if an existing drug might be used to treat COVID-19? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, and azithromycin, an antibiotic, are two existing drugs now in clinical trials to treat COVID-19. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says an existing Johns Hopkins database can help in the search for additional potential therapies.

Nelson: You then look at the target and say is there any drug that’s out there, perhaps not as its primary effect, but has some effect that hits the target in the same way that you’d want to make a drug? Can we just get a sense of whether there’s any beneficial action of this drug, in this context where we know what the target is? Here, Jun Liu built one of the great libraries of drugs that are approved for any use anywhere, and also drugs that were taken into phase two clinical trials, so there’s a safety data behind them, built this library so it could be used by anybody to screen for particular targets.  :34

The Johns Hopkins Drug Library can be accessed by anyone using those terms to search. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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