The FDA-approved gold drug auranofin inhibits novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) replication and attenuates inflammation in human cells.Virology. 2020 08; 547:7-11.V
SARS-COV-2 has recently emerged as a new public health threat. Herein, we report that the FDA-approved drug, auranofin, inhibits SARS-COV-2 replication in human cells at low micro molar concentration. Treatment of cells with auranofin resulted in a 95% reduction in the viral RNA at 48 h after infection. Auranofin treatment dramatically reduced the expression of SARS-COV-2-induced cytokines in human cells. These data indicate that auranofin could be a useful drug to limit SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated lung injury due to its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-reactive oxygen species (ROS) properties. Further animal studies are warranted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of auranofin for the management of SARS-COV-2 associated disease.