More than a million people have now died from COVID-19, because of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Currently, the FDA has approved remdesivir, an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 replication, to treat COVID-19, though very recent data from WHO showed little if any COVID19 protective effect. Here we report that ethacridine, a safe and potent antiseptic use in humans, effectively inhibits SARS-CoV-2, at very low concentrations (EC 50 ~ 0.08 µ M). Ethacridine was identified through a high-throughput screening of an FDA-approved drug library in living cells using a fluorescent assay. Interestingly, the main mode of action of ethacridine is to inactivate virus particles, preventing binding to the host cells. Thus, our work has identified a potent drug with a distinct mode of action against SARS-CoV-2.
View details for DOI 10.1101/2020.10.28.359042
View details for PubMedID 33140048
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7605555