Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, hypercoagulability, hypertension, and multiorgan dysfunction. Effective antivirals with safe clinical profile are urgently needed to improve the overall prognosis. In an analysis of a randomly collected cohort of 124 patients with COVID-19, we found that hypercoagulability as indicated by elevated concentrations of D-dimers was associated with disease severity. By virtual screening of a U.S. FDA approved drug library, we identified an anticoagulation agent dipyridamole (DIP) in silico, which suppressed SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. In a proof-of-concept trial involving 31 patients with COVID-19, DIP supplementation was associated with significantly decreased concentrations of D-dimers (P < 0.05), increased lymphocyte and platelet recovery in the circulation, and markedly improved clinical outcomes in comparison to the control patients. In particular, all 8 of the DIP-treated severely ill patients showed remarkable improvement: 7 patients (87.5%) achieved clinical cure and were discharged from the hospitals while the remaining 1 patient (12.5%) was in clinical remission.
Keywords: COVID-19; D-dimer; Dipyridamole; SARS-CoV-2; Severe cases; Treatment.
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