There is an urgent need for new antivirals with powerful therapeutic potential and tolerable side effects. In the present study, we found that recombinant human interferon-alpha (IFNa) triggered cell intrinsic and extrinsic antiviral responses and reduced replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human lung epithelial Calu-3 cells. However, IFNa alone was insufficient to completely abolish SARS-CoV-2 replication. Combinations of IFNa with camostat, remdesivir, EIDD-2801, cycloheximide or convalescent serum showed strong synergy and effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, we demonstrated synergistic antiviral activity of IFNa2a with pimodivir against influenza A virus (FluAV) infection in human lung epithelial A549 cells, as well as of IFNa2a with lamivudine against human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infection in human TZM-bl cells. Our results indicate that IFNa2a-based combinational therapies help to reduce drug dose and improve efficacy in comparison with monotherapies, making them attractive targets for further pre-clinical and clinical development.
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections , HIV Infections , Addison Disease , COVID-19
Here, we demonstrate that our anti-sepsis and COVID-19 drug candidate Rejuveinix (RJX) substantially improves the survival outcome in the LPS-GalN animal model of sepsis and multi-organ failure. One hundred (100) percent (%) of untreated control mice remained alive throughout the experiment. By comparison, 100% of LPS-GalN injected mice died at a median of 4.6 hours. In contrast to the invariably fatal treatment outcome of vehicle-treated control mice, 40% of mice treated with RJX (n=25) remained alive with a 2.4-fold longer median time survival time of 10.9 hours (Log-rank X2=20.60, P<0.0001). Notably, RJX increased the tissue levels of antioxidant enzymes SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px, and reduced oxidative stress in the brain. These findings demonstrate the clinical impact potential of RJX as a neuroprotective COVID-19 and sepsis drug candidate.
Subject(s)Sepsis , Multiple Organ Failure , COVID-19
COVID-19 currently represents a major public health problem. Multiple efforts are being performed to control this disease. Vaccinations are already in progress. However, no effective treatments have been found so far. The disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that through the Spike protein interacts with its cell surface receptor ACE2 to enter into the host cells. Therefore, compounds able to block this interaction may help to stop disease progression. In this study, we have analyzed the effect of compounds reported to interact and modify the activity of ACE2 on the binding of the Spike protein. Among the compounds tested, we found that hydroxyzine could inhibit the binding of the receptor-binding domain of Spike protein to ACE2 in a qualitative in vitro assay. This finding supports the reported clinical data showing the benefits of hydroxyzine on COVID-19 patients, raising the need for further investigation into its effectiveness in the treatment of COVID-19 given its well-characterized medical properties and affordable cost.
There is an urgent need for new antivirals with powerful therapeutic potential and tolerable side effects. In the present study, we found that recombinant human interferon-alpha (IFNa) triggers intrinsic and extrinsic cellular antiviral responses, as well as reduces replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro. Although IFNa alone was insufficient to completely abolish SARS-CoV-2 replication, combinations of IFNa with remdesivir or other antiviral agents (EIDD-2801, camostat, cycloheximide, or convalescent serum) showed strong synergy and effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in human lung epithelial Calu-3 cells. Furthermore, we showed that the IFNa-remdesivir combination suppressed virus replication in human lung organoids, and that its single prophylactic dose attenuated SARS-CoV-2 infection in lungs of Syrian hamsters. Transcriptome and metabolomic analyses showed that the combination of IFNa-remdesivir suppressed virus-mediated changes in infected cells, although it affected the homeostasis of uninfected cells. We also demonstrated synergistic antiviral activity of IFNa2a-based combinations against other virus infections in vitro. Altogether, our results indicate that IFNa2a-based combination therapies can achieve higher efficacy while requiring lower dosage compared to monotherapies, making them attractive targets for further pre-clinical and clinical development.
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections , COVID-19 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Combination therapies have become a standard for the treatment for HIV and HCV infections. They are advantageous over monotherapies due to better efficacy and reduced toxicity, as well as the ability to prevent the development of resistant viral strains and to treat viral co-infections. Here, we identify several new synergistic combinations against emerging and re-emerging viral infections in vitro. We observed synergistic activity of nelfinavir with investigational drug EIDD-2801 and convalescent serum against SARS-CoV-2 infection in human lung epithelial Calu-3 cells. We also demonstrated synergistic activity of vemurafenib combination with emetine, homoharringtonine, gemcitabine, or obatoclax against echovirus 1 infection in human lung epithelial A549 cells. We also found that combinations of sofosbuvir with brequinar and niclosamide were synergistic against HCV infection in hepatocyte derived Huh-7.5 cells, whereas combinations of monensin with lamivudine and tenofovir were synergistic against HIV-1 infection in human cervical TZM-bl cells. Finally, we present an online resource that summarizes novel and known antiviral drug combinations and their developmental status. Overall, the development of combinational therapies could have a global impact improving the preparedness and protection of the general population from emerging and re-emerging viral threats.
Subject(s)Coinfection , HIV Infections , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Hepatitis C , COVID-19
BackgroundSouth Korea was among the first countries to report a case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outside of China. As of 22 March, 2020, South Korea reported 8897 confirmed cases of and 104 deaths from COVID-19. MethodsWe collected the number of laboratory-confirmed cases and deaths in South Korea from the World Health Organization (as of 21 March, 2020) and case distribution and fatality rates by age from the Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention (as of 22 March, 2020). We estimated population-level mortality rates by fitting a negative binomial regression model with the number of deaths as the outcome and population by age as an offset. We then calculated the age-standardized death rate (ASDR) based on the current COVID-19 figures and for alternative scenarios of increased prevalence. FindingsThe COVID-19 population-level mortality rate (per 100,000 person-years) increased with age: from 0.1 deaths among 30-39 year olds to 9.5 deaths among [≥]80 year olds. The ASDR (per 100,000 person-years) was 0.8 deaths. The ASDR would increase to 52.0 deaths at a 1% prevalence (becoming the third leading cause of death) and 155.9 deaths at 3% prevalence (becoming the leading cause of death). InterpretationCurrently, the population-level mortality burden of COVID-19 in South Korea, as measured by the ASDR, was relatively low compared to other causes of death partly due to the low prevalence of COVID-19. If the prevalence increases from another outbreak, the mortality burden could increase substantially and surpass other leading causes. FundingGrant P2C-HD041022, California Center for Population Research, University of California, Los Angeles (US NIH).