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DRI-C23041 for COVID-19

DRI-C23041 has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Bojadzic et al., Small-Molecule In Vitro Inhibitors of the Coronavirus Spike – ACE2 Protein-Protein Interaction as Blockers of Viral Attachment and Entry for SARS-CoV-2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.10.22.351056
ABSTRACTInhibitors of the protein-protein interaction (PPI) between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and ACE2, which acts as a ligand-receptor pair that initiates the viral attachment and cellular entry of this coronavirus causing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, are of considerable interest as potential antiviral agents. While blockade of such PPIs with small molecules is more challenging than with antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors (SMIs) might offer alternatives that are less strain- and mutation-sensitive, suitable for oral or inhaled administration, and more controllable / less immunogenic. Here, we report the identification of SMIs of this PPI by screening our compound-library that is focused on the chemical space of organic dyes. Among promising candidates identified, several dyes (Congo red, direct violet 1, Evans blue) and novel drug-like compounds (DRI-C23041, DRI-C91005) inhibited the interaction of hACE2 with the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 as well as SARS-CoV with low micromolar activity in our cell-free ELISA-type assays (IC50s of 0.2-3.0 μM); whereas, control compounds, such as sunset yellow FCF, chloroquine, and suramin, showed no activity. Protein thermal shift assays indicated that the SMIs identified here bind SARS-CoV-2-S and not ACE2. Selected promising compounds inhibited the entry of a SARS-CoV-2-S expressing pseudovirus into ACE2-expressing cells in concentration-dependent manner with low micromolar IC50s (6-30 μM). This provides proof-of-principle evidence for the feasibility of small-molecule inhibition of PPIs critical for coronavirus attachment/entry and serves as a first guide in the search for SMI-based alternative antiviral therapies for the prevention and treatment of diseases caused by coronaviruses in general and COVID-19 in particular.
Chuang et al., Broad-Spectrum Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike—ACE2 Protein–Protein Interaction from a Chemical Space of Privileged Protein Binders, Pharmaceuticals, doi:10.3390/ph15091084
Therapeutically useful small-molecule inhibitors (SMIs) of protein–protein interactions (PPIs) initiating the cell attachment and entry of viruses could provide novel alternative antivirals that act via mechanisms similar to that of neutralizing antibodies but retain the advantages of small-molecule drugs such as oral bioavailability and low likelihood of immunogenicity. From screening our library, which is focused around the chemical space of organic dyes to provide good protein binders, we have identified several promising SMIs of the SARS-CoV-2 spike—ACE2 interaction, which is needed for the attachment and cell entry of this coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. They included organic dyes, such as Congo red, direct violet 1, and Evans blue, which seem to be promiscuous PPI inhibitors, as well as novel drug-like compounds (e.g., DRI-C23041). Here, we show that in addition to the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, these SMIs also inhibit this PPI for variants of concern including delta (B.1.617.2) and omicron (B.1.1.529) as well as HCoV-NL63 with low- or even sub-micromolar activity. They also concentration-dependently inhibited SARS-CoV-2-S expressing pseudovirus entry into hACE2-expressing cells with low micromolar activity (IC50 < 10 μM) both for the original strain and the delta variant. DRI-C23041 showed good therapeutic (selectivity) index, i.e., separation between activity and cytotoxicity (TI > 100). Specificities and activities require further optimization; nevertheless, these results provide a promising starting point toward novel broad-spectrum small-molecule antivirals that act via blocking the interaction between the spike proteins of coronaviruses and their ACE2 receptor initiating cellular entry.
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