Combination Therapy with Fluoxetine and the Nucleoside Analog GS-441524 Exerts Synergistic Antiviral Effects against Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants In Vitro

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Brunotte, L.; Zheng, S.; Mecate-Zambrano, A.; Tang, J.; Ludwig, S.; Rescher, U.; Schloer, S. Combination Therapy with Fluoxetine and the Nucleoside Analog GS-441524 Exerts Synergistic Antiviral Effects against Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants In Vitro. Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 1400.

Title: Combination Therapy with Fluoxetine and the Nucleoside Analog GS-441524 Exerts Synergistic Antiviral Effects against Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants In Vitro
Author: Brunotte, Linda; Zheng, Shuyu; Mecate-Zambrano, Angeles; Tang, Jing; Ludwig, Stephan; Rescher, Ursula; Schloer, Sebastian
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-09-03
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334221
Abstract: The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic requires efficient and safe antiviral treatment strategies. Drug repurposing represents a fast and low-cost approach to the development of new medical treatment options. The direct antiviral agent remdesivir has been reported to exert antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Whereas remdesivir only has a very short half-life time and a bioactivation, which relies on pro-drug activating enzymes, its plasma metabolite GS-441524 can be activated through various kinases including the adenosine kinase (ADK) that is moderately expressed in all tissues. The pharmacokinetics of GS-441524 argue for a suitable antiviral drug that can be given to patients with COVID-19. Here, we analyzed the antiviral property of a combined treatment with the remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 and the antidepressant fluoxetine in a polarized Calu-3 cell culture model against SARS-CoV-2. The combined treatment with GS-441524 and fluoxetine were well-tolerated and displayed synergistic antiviral effects against three circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in vitro in the commonly used reference models for drug interaction. Thus, combinatory treatment with the virus-targeting GS-441524 and the host-directed drug fluoxetine might offer a suitable therapeutic treatment option for SARS-CoV-2 infections.


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