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Verteporfin for COVID-19

Verteporfin has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Murer et al., Arrayed multicycle drug screens identify broadly acting chemical inhibitors for repurposing against SARS-CoV-2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.03.30.437771
AbstractCoronaviruses (CoVs) circulate in humans and animals, and expand their host range by zoonotic and anthroponotic transmissions. Endemic human CoVs, such as 229E and OC43 cause limited respiratory disease, and elicit short term anti-viral immunity favoring recurrent infections. Yet, severe acute respir-atory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 spreads across the globe with unprecedented impact on societies and economics. The world lacks broadly effective and affordable anti-viral agents to fight the pandemic and reduce the death toll. Here, we developed an image-based multicycle replication assay for focus for-mation of α-coronavirus hCoV-229E-eGFP infected cells for screening with a chemical library of 5440 compounds arrayed in 384 well format. The library contained about 39% clinically used compounds, 26% in phase I, II or III clinical trials, and 34% in preclinical development. Hits were counter-selected against toxicity, and challenged with hCoV-OC43 and SARS-CoV-2 in tissue culture and human bronchial and nasal epithelial explant cultures from healthy donors. Fifty three compounds inhibited hCoV-229E-GFP, 39 of which at 50% effective concentrations (EC50) < 2μM, and were at least 2-fold separated from toxicity. Thirty nine of the 53 compounds inhibited the replication of hCoV-OC43, while SARS-CoV-2 was inhibited by 11 compounds in at least two of four tested cell lines. Six of the 11 compounds are FDA-approved, one of which is used in mouth wash formulations, and five are systemic and orally available. Here, we demonstrate that methylene blue (MB) and mycophenolic acid (MPA), two broadly available low cost compounds, strongly inhibited shedding of infectious SARS-CoV-2 at the apical side of the cultures, in either pre- or post-exposure regimens, with somewhat weaker effects on viral RNA release indicated by RT-qPCR measurements. Our study illustrates the power of full cycle screens in repurposing clinical compounds against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, both MB and MPA reportedly act as immunosuppressants, making them interesting candidates to counteract the cytokine storms affecting COVID-19 patients.
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.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. c19early involves the extraction of 100,000+ datapoints from thousands of papers. Community updates help ensure high accuracy. Treatments and other interventions are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment 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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