Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Experimental studies confirm the inhibitory capacity of SARS-CoV-2 replication of an antibiotic for veterinary use

After validating the bioactivity of two anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, now the COVID Moonshot initiative has confirmed that a third drug, sarafloxacin, has even greater inhibitory capacity.

As a result of the our last study, seven of the 6,466 drugs detected after computational screening were predicted to have the ability to inhibit M-pro; and therefore virus replication. The results of these seven molecules were shared with the international initiative COVID Moonshot, which initially validated two (carprofen and celecoxib) to test in vitro the ability to inhibit the main protease of the virus, M-pro. The conclusions obtained were that with a concentration of 50 µM (micromoles per liter) of celecoxib or carprofen, both molecules are able to decrease the in vitro activity of M-pro (with an inhibition of 11.9 % for celecoxib and 4.0% for carprofen). But now they have shown that this antibiotic for veterinary use, sarafloxacin, has an even higher bioactivity, of 20% at a concentration of 50 µM. Although not very potent inhibitors, the study indicates that these three compounds can be used as a starting point to design even more potent derivatives.


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