Sofosbuvir as a potential alternative to treat the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic

Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 9;10(1):9294. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-66440-9.


As of today, there is no antiviral for the treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the development of a vaccine might take several months or even years. The structural superposition of the hepatitis C virus polymerase bound to sofosbuvir, a nucleoside analog antiviral approved for hepatitis C virus infections, with the SARS-CoV polymerase shows that the residues that bind to the drug are present in the latter. Moreover, a multiple alignment of several SARS-CoV-2, SARS and MERS-related coronaviruses polymerases shows that these residues are conserved in all these viruses, opening the possibility to use sofosbuvir against these highly infectious pathogens.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Base Sequence
  • Betacoronavirus / enzymology*
  • COVID-19
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Computer Simulation
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / enzymology
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / chemistry*
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / enzymology
  • Sofosbuvir / chemistry*
  • Sofosbuvir / therapeutic use
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / genetics


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase
  • NS-5 protein, hepatitis C virus
  • NSP12 protein, SARS-CoV-2
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase
  • Sofosbuvir