Black market drugs used on cats studied as potential coronavirus treatment

Drugs used to treat feline infectious peritonitis are being tested as a possible treatment remedy.

Cat in the grass  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Cat in the grass
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Two drugs that are typically used on cats and cost thousands of dollars on the black market are currently being studied as potential coronavirus treatments, according to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.
The name of the drugs, GS-441524 and GC376, which have been used to treat feline infectious peritonitis, a disease caused by a cat strain of the coronavirus, are being tested as the possible treatment remedy.
Nevertheless, scientists have warned not to take these two drugs or buy them online since they risk buying a low-quality or counterfeit version that can be potentially harmful.
The decision to test the drug as a treatment came after researchers reported in Nature Communications early last week that GC376 inhibited the growth of the precursor virus responsible for coronavirus. According to the report, GS-441524 has been already tested on one patient.
As much of the world continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, cat owners have been desperate to get their hands on the two drugs, including buying from the black market. GS-441524 has been shown to be highly effective for treating feline infectious peritonitis.
Jacqueline Norris, a University of Sydney's professor of veterinary microbiology and infectious diseases, noted that she was aware that Australian cat owner have been attempting to get the drugs from the black market.
"Everyone can see in the literature this is going to be a fantastic drug for a disease that is untreatable," she said.
"I tell people about the papers, I tell them there is an ability to get the drug but it's not legal."
In light of the pandemic, attention has turned to the human market for using these two drugs, which is more lucrative that the pet industry.
Consequently, as chemical formulas were published online, Chinese companies have taken advantage and began manufacturing it you sell to pet owners.