Interferon-β-1a Inhibition of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 In Vitro When Administered After Virus Infection

J Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 4;222(5):722-725. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa350.


The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has forced the clinical and scientific community to try drug repurposing of existing antiviral agents as a quick option against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Under this scenario, interferon (IFN) β-1a, whose antiviral potential is already known, and which is a drug currently used in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis, may represent as a potential candidate. In this report, we demonstrate that IFN-β-1a was highly effective in inhibiting in vitro SARS-CoV-2 replication at clinically achievable concentration when administered after virus infection.

Keywords: COVID-19 clinical trial; IFN-β-1a; SARS-CoV-2.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • Betacoronavirus / physiology
  • COVID-19
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Drug Repositioning
  • Interferon beta-1a / pharmacology*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vero Cells
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon beta-1a