An Orally Administered Drug Prevents SARS-CoV-2 Replication

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health found that the orally administered experimental drug EIDD-2801 halts SARS-CoV-2 replication and prevents infection of human cells in a new in vivo lab model containing human lung tissue. To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of EIDD-2801 for COVID-19, the researchers administered EIDD-2801 to human lung tissue (LoM) starting 24 hours or 48 hours post-SARS-CoV-2 exposure and every 12 hours thereafter.

The researchers found that EIDD-2801 led to a more than 25,000-fold reduction in the number of infectious particles in human lung tissue when treatment was initiated 24 hours post-exposure. Virus titers were significantly reduced by 96% when treatment was started 48 hours post-exposure. EIDD-2801 pre-exposure prophylaxis significantly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication – reducing virus titers in the human lung tissues of LoM by over 100,000 fold in two independent experiments. Clinical trials for EIDD-2801 are ongoing, and the first results could be released as early as March.

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