EGYVIR: An immunomodulatory herbal extract with potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2

PLoS One. 2020 Nov 18;15(11):e0241739. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241739. eCollection 2020.


Due to the challenges for developing vaccines in devastating pandemic situations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), developing and screening of novel antiviral agents are peremptorily demanded. Herein, we developed EGYVIR as a potent immunomodulatory herbal extract with promising antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. It constitutes of a combination of black pepper extract with curcumin extract. The antiviral effect of EGYVIR extract is attributed to the two key phases of the disease in severe cases. First, the inhibition of the nuclear translocation of NF-kβ p50, attenuating the SARS-CoV-2 infection-associated cytokine storm. Additionally, the EGYVIR extract has an in vitro virucidal effect for SARS-CoV-2. The in vitro study of EGYVIR extract against SARS-CoV-2 on Huh-7 cell lines, revealed the potential role of NF-kβ/TNFα/IL-6 during the infection process. EGYVIR antagonizes the NF-kβ pathway in-silico and in-vitro studies. Consequently, it has the potential to hinder the release of IL-6 and TNFα, decreasing the production of essential cytokines storm elements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B p50 Subunit / metabolism
  • Piper nigrum / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Vero Cells


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B p50 Subunit
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha

Grant support

This work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services (under contract HHSN272201400006C). Also this work was funded by pure diagnostic company.