A 62-year-old man who became Spain’s first coronavirus patient is believed to have made a full recovery after being treated with an HIV drug, according to a report.
Miguel Ángel Benítez was hospitalized at the Virgen del Rocio Hospital in Seville, where he received lopinavir-ritonavir, an antiretroviral drug sold under the brand name Kaletra, according to Metro UK, which cited El Pais.
The drug — which has been used to treat HIV and AIDS for over 10 years — was combined with interferon beta, a protein that prevents cells from becoming infected and is used on people with multiple sclerosis patients, the news outlet reported.
Santiago Moreno, head of infectious diseases at the Ramón y Cajal hospital in Madrid, said the “SARS-CoV-2 protease is very similar to that of HIV,” using another name for the novel coronavirus.
“This enzyme is essential for the virus to replicate. The combination of
“The results that we have so far regarding its use against coronaviruses are encouraging.”
Researchers in Spain cautioned that not all coronavirus patients would necessarily respond to the treatment the way Benítez did. But a research professor at Imperial College London said that if the widely available HIV drugs prove to be successful against COVID-19 on a large scale, they could quickly be administered to the coronavirus patients.
SOURCE: New York Post