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Homoharringtonine for COVID-19

Homoharringtonine has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Ellinger et al., A SARS-CoV-2 cytopathicity dataset generated by high-content screening of a large drug repurposing collection, Scientific Data, doi:10.1038/s41597-021-00848-4
AbstractSARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, in which acute respiratory infections are associated with high socio-economic burden. We applied high-content screening to a well-defined collection of 5632 compounds including 3488 that have undergone previous clinical investigations across 600 indications. The compounds were screened by microscopy for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 cytopathicity in the human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line, Caco-2. The primary screen identified 258 hits that inhibited cytopathicity by more than 75%, most of which were not previously known to be active against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. These compounds were tested in an eight-point dose response screen using the same image-based cytopathicity readout. For the 67 most active molecules, cytotoxicity data were generated to confirm activity against SARS-CoV-2. We verified the ability of known inhibitors camostat, nafamostat, lopinavir, mefloquine, papaverine and cetylpyridinium to reduce the cytopathic effects of SARS-CoV-2, providing confidence in the validity of the assay. The high-content screening data are suitable for reanalysis across numerous drug classes and indications and may yield additional insights into SARS-CoV-2 mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies.
Patten et al., Identification of druggable host targets needed for SARS-CoV-2 infection by combined pharmacological evaluation and cellular network directed prioritization both in vitro and in vivo, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.04.20.440626
AbstractIdentification of host factors contributing to replication of viruses and resulting disease progression remains a promising approach for development of new therapeutics. Here, we evaluated 6710 clinical and preclinical compounds targeting 2183 host proteins by immunocytofluorescence-based screening to identify SARS-CoV-2 infection inhibitors. Computationally integrating relationships between small molecule structure, dose-response antiviral activity, host target and cell interactome networking produced cellular networks important for infection. This analysis revealed 389 small molecules, >12 scaffold classes and 813 host targets with micromolar to low nanomolar activities. From these classes, representatives were extensively evaluated for mechanism of action in stable and primary human cell models, and additionally against Beta and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants and MERS-CoV. One promising candidate, obatoclax, significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral lung load in mice. Ultimately, this work establishes a rigorous approach for future pharmacological and computational identification of novel host factor dependencies and treatments for viral diseases.
Pickard et al., Discovery of re-purposed drugs that slow SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells, PLOS Pathogens, doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1009840
COVID-19 vaccines based on the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 have been developed that appear to be largely successful in stopping infection. However, therapeutics that can help manage the disease are still required until immunity has been achieved globally. The identification of repurposed drugs that stop SARS-CoV-2 replication could have enormous utility in stemming the disease. Here, using a nano-luciferase tagged version of the virus (SARS-CoV-2-ΔOrf7a-NLuc) to quantitate viral load, we evaluated a range of human cell types for their ability to be infected and support replication of the virus, and performed a screen of 1971 FDA-approved drugs. Hepatocytes, kidney glomerulus, and proximal tubule cells were particularly effective in supporting SARS-CoV-2 replication, which is in-line with reported proteinuria and liver damage in patients with COVID-19. Using the nano-luciferase as a measure of virus replication we identified 35 drugs that reduced replication in Vero cells and human hepatocytes when treated prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection and found amodiaquine, atovaquone, bedaquiline, ebastine, LY2835219, manidipine, panobinostat, and vitamin D3 to be effective in slowing SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells when used to treat infected cells. In conclusion, our study has identified strong candidates for drug repurposing, which could prove powerful additions to the treatment of COVID.
Chen et al., A high-throughput screen for TMPRSS2 expression identifies FDA-approved compounds that can limit SARS-CoV-2 entry, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24156-y
AbstractSARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) is the pathogenic coronavirus responsible for the global pandemic of COVID-19 disease. The Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 attaches to host lung epithelial cells through the cell surface receptor ACE2, a process dependent on host proteases including TMPRSS2. Here, we identify small molecules that reduce surface expression of TMPRSS2 using a library of 2,560 FDA-approved or current clinical trial compounds. We identify homoharringtonine and halofuginone as the most attractive agents, reducing endogenous TMPRSS2 expression at sub-micromolar concentrations. These effects appear to be mediated by a drug-induced alteration in TMPRSS2 protein stability. We further demonstrate that halofuginone modulates TMPRSS2 levels through proteasomal-mediated degradation that involves the E3 ubiquitin ligase component DDB1- and CUL4-associated factor 1 (DCAF1). Finally, cells exposed to homoharringtonine and halofuginone, at concentrations of drug known to be achievable in human plasma, demonstrate marked resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection in both live and pseudoviral in vitro models. Given the safety and pharmacokinetic data already available for the compounds identified in our screen, these results should help expedite the rational design of human clinical trials designed to combat active COVID-19 infection.
Onyango, O., In Silico Models for Anti-COVID-19 Drug Discovery: A Systematic Review, Advances in Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, doi:10.1155/2023/4562974
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe worldwide pandemic. Due to the emergence of various SARS-CoV-2 variants and the presence of only one Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-COVID-19 drug (remdesivir), the disease remains a mindboggling global public health problem. Developing anti-COVID-19 drug candidates that are effective against SARS-CoV-2 and its various variants is a pressing need that should be satisfied. This systematic review assesses the existing literature that used in silico models during the discovery procedure of anti-COVID-19 drugs. Cochrane Library, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and PubMed were used to conduct a literature search to find the relevant articles utilizing the search terms “In silico model,” “COVID-19,” “Anti-COVID-19 drug,” “Drug discovery,” “Computational drug designing,” and “Computer-aided drug design.” Studies published in English between 2019 and December 2022 were included in the systematic review. From the 1120 articles retrieved from the databases and reference lists, only 33 were included in the review after the removal of duplicates, screening, and eligibility assessment. Most of the articles are studies that use SARS-CoV-2 proteins as drug targets. Both ligand-based and structure-based methods were utilized to obtain lead anti-COVID-19 drug candidates. Sixteen articles also assessed absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity (ADMET), and drug-likeness properties. Confirmation of the inhibitory ability of the candidate leads by in vivo or in vitro assays was reported in only five articles. Virtual screening, molecular docking (MD), and molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) emerged as the most commonly utilized in silico models for anti-COVID-19 drug discovery.
Fan et al., Pharmaceutical approaches for COVID-19: An update on current therapeutic opportunities, Acta Pharmaceutica, doi:10.2478/acph-2023-0014
Abstract SARS-CoV-2, a newly discovered coronavirus, has been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently an important public health issue. Despite all the work done to date around the world, there is still no viable treatment for COVID-19. This study examined the most recent evidence on the efficacy and safety of several therapeutic options available including natural substances, synthetic drugs and vaccines in the treatment of COVID-19. Various natural compounds such as sarsapogenin, lycorine, biscoclaurine, vitamin B12, glycyrrhizic acid, riboflavin, resveratrol and kaempferol, various vaccines and drugs such as AZD1222, mRNA-1273, BNT162b2, Sputnik V, and remdesivir, lopinavir, favipiravir, darunavir, oseltamivir, and umifenovir, resp., have been discussed comprehensively. We attempted to provide exhaustive information regarding the various prospective therapeutic approaches available in order to assist researchers and physicians in treating COVID-19 patients.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. Vaccines and treatments are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment, vaccine, or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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