IVIC scientists corroborate Carvativir demonstrates antiviral capacity to block SARS-CoV-2 infection

Researchers confirmed that Carvativir, developed in Venezuela, would have potentially positive effects on the health of patients infected by COVID-19.

Héctor Rangel, a Doctor in Virology, who leads the studies on potential drugs against SARS-CoV-2 from the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC), affirms that Carvativir has shown antiviral activity “in vitro”.

“We evaluated different concentrations of this compound in cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. With increasing concentrations of Carvativir, a decrease in lytic plaque formation was observed. This indicates antiviral activity. We repeated the assay a couple of times, and found the same behavior,” said Rangel.

Carvativir is an experience of a Venezuelan research line of evaluation of natural and synthetic compounds against SARS-CoV-2.

“The origin of Carvativir is isothymol, as a natural active principle, isolated from oregano and thyme”, this was confirmed by the Minister for Science and Technology, Gabriela Jimenez.

The antiviral effect of Carvativir was evaluated in infected cells to know if the probable mechanism of action of isothymol on the virus was centered on the receptor, on the protein of the spike, on the protease, and affected replication.

The result? Carvativir “blocks” or “slows” viral infection in a dose-dependent manner.

What did the Venezuelan research on Carvativir included?

– Isolation and identification of active ingredients.

– Molecular modeling.

– In vitro” and “in vivo” studies.

– Chemical stability.

– Clinical studies for 4 months, in COVID-19 positive patients, with proven symptomatology.

– Statistical evaluation in the USA.

Alexander Briceño, PhD in Chemistry with a Master’s Degree in Applied Chemistry from the Universidad de Los Andes (ULA), indicated that the IVIC’s Medicinal Chemistry Department carried out a series of chemical tests and analyses to evaluate the stability of isothymol, in the Bio-equivalence and Bio-availability Laboratory.

“We validated the components in Carvativir’s formulation and the ratios in which they are found, as well as the stability of the emulsions developed throughout the study. These tests coincided with other experiences made in other countries”, stressed Briceño.

Carvativir information was treated confidentially and rigorously evaluated

“The researchers did not know it was isothymol. It arrived as a problem sample. Later, in the chromatography and in the mass spectrum, the presence of isothymol was confirmed”, assured Minister Gabriela Jiménez.

For the analysis of the clinical trials of Carvativir, two private laboratories were used, due to the difficulties imposed by the imperial blockade of access to reagents and measuring equipment, and to have a third opinion, of great prestige abroad.

The Mayo Clinic, USA, evaluated cytokine levels in the blood plasmas of patients who received Carvativir and those who received placebo.

Patients treated with Carvativir showed an immunomodulatory effect, according to Minister Jimenez.

After measuring the antiviral and immunomodulatory effect of Carvativir, saturation and respiratory capacity were monitored.

Encouraging results

Preclinical and clinical studies on the effectiveness of Carvativir suggest that it is a drug with “a positive effect” that could be used as a treatment for COVID-19.

Articles for a peer-reviewed scientific journal and reports to the World Health Organization (WHO) are already available.

“This exercise that Venezuela has done, more than adding capacities, is will. There is capacity, there is talent and there is will,” Minister Jiménez stressed, referring to the situation of the economic blockade imposed by the US.