Repurposing Screens of FDA-Approved Drugs Identify 29 Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Dec 28;30(12):1843-1853. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2009.09009.


COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has spread globally and caused serious social and economic problems. The WHO has declared this outbreak a pandemic. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or antiviral drugs that prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Drugs already approved for clinical use would be ideal candidates for rapid development as COVID-19 treatments. In this work, we screened 1,473 FDA-approved drugs to identify inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection using cell-based assays. The antiviral activity of each compound was measured based on the immunofluorescent staining of infected cells using anti-dsRNA antibody. Twenty-nine drugs among those tested showed antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. We report this new list of inhibitors to quickly provide basic information for consideration in developing potential therapies.

Keywords: COVID-19; FDA-approved drugs; SARS-CoV-2; repurposing screens.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiviral Agents / toxicity
  • Drug Approval*
  • Drug Repositioning*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Antiviral Agents