Positive Antiviral Activity of Plitidepsin Found Against SARS-CoV-2
The results published by a pre-clinical mouse study indicate that plitidepsin is a promising therapeutic candidate for COVID-19, resulting in a 99% reduction of viral load.
Researchers report in Science on January 25, 2021, that the drug plitidepsin (aplidin), which has limited clinical approval, possesses antiviral activity (IC90 = 0.88 nM) 27.5-fold more potent than remdesivir (Veklury) against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, with limited toxicity in cell culture.
Through the use of a drug-resistant mutant, these researchers show that the antiviral activity of plitidepsin against SARS-CoV-2 is mediated by inhibiting the known target eEF1A.
They demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of plitidepsin treatment in two mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection, reducing viral replication in the lungs by two orders of magnitude using a prophylactic treatment.
The publication concludes that “this study establishes plitidepsin as a host-targeted anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent with in vivo efficacy. The researchers continued stating in a press release issued on January 26, 2021, “We believe that our data and the initial positive results from PharmaMar’s clinical trial suggests that plitidepsin should be strongly considered for expanded clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19.”