Identifying SARS-CoV-2 Entry Inhibitors through Drug Repurposing Screens of SARS-S and MERS-S Pseudotyped Particles

ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci. 2020 Oct 19;3(6):1165-1175. doi: 10.1021/acsptsci.0c00112. eCollection 2020 Dec 11.


While vaccine development will hopefully quell the global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, small molecule drugs that can effectively control SARS-CoV-2 infection are urgently needed. Here, inhibitors of spike (S) mediated cell entry were identified in a high throughput screen of an approved drugs library with SARS-S and MERS-S pseudotyped particle entry assays. We discovered six compounds (cepharanthine, abemaciclib, osimertinib, trimipramine, colforsin, and ingenol) to be broad spectrum inhibitors for spike-mediated entry. This work could contribute to the development of effective treatments against the initial stage of viral infection and provide mechanistic information that might aid the design of new drug combinations for clinical trials for COVID-19 patients.