Multidose evaluation of 6,710 drug repurposing library identifies potent SARS-CoV-2 infection inhibitors In Vitro and In Vivo

JJ Patten, P. T. Keiser, D. Gysi, G. Menichetti, H. Mori, C. J. Donahue, X. Gan, I. Do Valle, K. Geoghegan-Barek, M. Anantpadma, J. L. Berrigan, S. Jalloh, T. Ayazika, F. Wagner, M. Zitnik, S. Ayehunie, D. Anderson, J. Loscalzo, S. Gummuluru, M. N. Namchuk, A. L. Barabasi, and R. A. Davey

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused widespread illness, loss of life, and socioeconomic disruption that is unlikely to resolve until vaccines are widely adopted, and effective therapeutic treatments become established. Here, a well curated and annotated library of 6710 clinical and preclinical molecules, covering diverse chemical scaffolds and known host targets was evaluated for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection in multiple infection models. Multi-concentration, high-content immunocytofluorescence-based screening identified 172 strongly active small molecules, including 52 with submicromolar potencies. The active molecules were extensively triaged by in vitro mechanistic assays, including human primary cell models of infection and the most promising, obatoclax, was tested for in vivo efficacy. Structural and mechanistic classification of compounds revealed known and novel chemotypes and potential host targets involved in each step of the virus replication cycle including BET proteins, microtubule function, mTOR, ER kinases, protein synthesis and ion channel function. In the mouse disease model obatoclax effectively reduced lung virus load by 10-fold. Overall, this work provides an important, publicly accessible, foundation for development of novel treatments for COVID-19, establishes human primary cell-based pharmacological models for evaluation of therapeutics and identifies new insights into SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms.


EpiIntestinal (SMI-200-FT), SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, infection, inhibitors, N protoein, Nucleocapsid Protein, vaccine development

Materials Tested

Remdesivir, Emetine, obatoclax, GSK2606414, Proscillaridin, DMSO, USA-WA1/2020

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