Pancreatitis Drug May Block Coronavirus Infection: U of Tokyo

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Tokyo, March 18 (Jiji Press)--An intravenous drug that has long been used in Japan to treat acute pancreatitis may be effective in preventing infections with the novel coronavirus, a team of the University of Tokyo said Wednesday.

The team, including Junichiro Inoue, professor at the university's Institute of Medical Science, plans to start clinical research soon on the drug, nafamostat mesylate, with institutions such as Japan's National Center for Global Health and Medicine.

The team found the drug's possible ability through an experiment simulating the coronavirus' infection to human cells.

"We're expecting the drug to suppress symptoms of pneumonia and other conditions," Inoue said.

In an article published in U.S. science journal Cell earlier this month, a team including the German Primate Center suggested that camostat mesylate, an oral drug for acute pancreatitis also used in Japan, may be effective in preventing infections with the new coronavirus.

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