Study Results in the Prestigious Journal Cell Research Demonstrate Broad Antiviral Potential of Cepharanthine in Zika, Ebola and Multiple Variants of Covid-19.

  • Authors demonstrate that cepharanthine displays robust antiviral activity against Zika, Ebola and various strains of Covid-19.
  • Previous studies have screened for antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 infection, but they have not addressed whether the drugs target virus-interacting proteins per se. Here the authors identified a short list of 5 previously approved drugs (derived from an original list of greater than 12,000) that show benefit in disrupting host protein:viral RNA interactions.
  • Cepharanthine administration to SARS-Cov-2 infected mice engineered to display the human ACE2 receptor was found to be protective.
  • Cells exposed to cepharanthine were protected from the cytopathic effects of Zika, Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Cepharanthine displayed dramatically greater efficacy for the South African SARS-CoV-2 variant, with sub µM IC50 potency and a safety margin of greater than 100-fold.
  • Cepharanthine was effective at reducing cell-killing effects of Covid-19 at concentrations already known to be safe in for humans.
  • Cepharanthine, when combined with trifluoperazine reduced Covid-19 viral burden to 0.01% of the untreated control.

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