New drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19

Researchers from the University of Kent, the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), and the Hannover Medical School (Germany) have identified a drug with the potential to provide a treatment for COVID-19.

The international team led by Professor Martin Michaelis, Dr Mark Wass (both School of Biosciences, University of Kent), and Professor Jindrich Cinatl (Institute of Medical Virology, Goethe-University) found that the approved protease inhibitor aprotinin displayed activity against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in concentrations that are achieved in patients. Aprotinin inhibits the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells and may compensate for the loss of host cell protease inhibitors that are downregulated upon SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Aprotinin aerosols are approved in Russia for the treatment of influenza and could be readily tested for the treatment of COVID-19.

Professor Martin Michaelis said: "The aprotinin aerosol has been reported to be tolerated extremely well in influenza patients. Hence, it may have a particular potential to prevent severe COVID-19 disease when applied early after diagnosis."

Bojkova D, Bechtel M, McLaughlin K-M, McGreig JE, Klann K, Bellinghausen C, Rohde G, Jonigk D, Braubach P, Ciesek S, Münch C, Wass MN, Michaelis M, Cinatl J Jr.
Aprotinin Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication.
Cells 2020, 9, 2377. 10.3390/cells9112377

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