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PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-334575


There is an urgent need for anti-viral agents that treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The shortest path to clinical use is repurposing of drugs that have an established safety profile in humans. Here, we first screened a library of 1,900 clinically safe drugs for inhibiting replication of OC43, a human beta-coronavirus that causes the common-cold and is a relative of SARS-CoV-2, and identified 108 effective drugs. We further evaluated the top 26 hits and determined their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2, as well as other pathogenic RNA viruses. 20 of the 26 drugs significantly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells (A549 epithelial cell line), with EC50 values ranging from 0.1 to 8 micromolar. We investigated the mechanism of action for these and found that masitinib, a drug originally developed as a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor for cancer treatment, strongly inhibited the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease 3CLpro. X-ray crystallography revealed that masitinib directly binds to the active site of 3CLpro, thereby blocking its enzymatic activity. Mastinib also inhibited the related viral protease of picornaviruses and blocked picornaviruses replication. Thus, our results show that masitinib has broad anti-viral activity against two distinct beta-coronaviruses and multiple picornaviruses that cause human disease and is a strong candidate for clinical trials to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333541


SARS-CoV-2 is the newly emerged virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic. There is an incomplete understanding of the host humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 during acute infection. Host factors such as age and sex as well the kinetics and functionality of antibody responses are important factors to consider as vaccine development proceeds. The receptor-binding domain of the CoV spike (RBD-S) protein is important in host cell recognition and infection and antibodies targeting this domain are often neutralizing. In a cross-sectional study of anti-RBD-S antibodies in COVID-19 patients we found equivalent levels in male and female patients and no age-related deficiencies even out to 93 years of age. The anti-RBD-S response was evident as little as 6 days after onset of symptoms and for at least 5 weeks after symptom onset. Anti-RBD-S IgG, IgM, and IgA responses were simultaneously induced within 10 days after onset, but isotype-specific kinetics differed such that anti-RBD-S IgG was most sustained over a 5-week period. The kinetics and magnitude of neutralizing antibody formation strongly correlated with that seen for anti-RBD-S antibodies. Our results suggest age- and sex- related disparities in COVID-19 fatalities are not explained by anti-RBD-S responses. The multi-isotype anti-RBD-S response induced by live virus infection could serve as a potential marker by which to monitor vaccine-induced responses.