Ethacridine Inactivates SARS-CoV-2

Researchers from the University of California and Stanford University revealed that ethacridine a safe and potent antiseptic is effective against SARS-CoV-2 at low concentrations of EC50 ~ 0.08microM. Ethacridine was identified by high-throughput screening. Using fluorescent assay, drugs that inhibit Mpro activity were identified and ethacridine was the most effective of them. Ethacridine was shown to block SARS-CoV-2 in human cell line A549ACE2 and primary HNE cells. According to the researchers, ethacridine has stronger antiviral potency as compared to remdesivir.

Currently, ethacridine is used as a topical disinfectant, but it had already been used in patients with puerperal sepsis via IV injection. Ethacridine inactivates viral particles and thus prevents binding to the host cells. Following ethacridine treatment, SARS-CoV-2 particles lost their infectivity and ability to bins host cells. Data from qRT-PCR revealed that ethacridine does not impact viral RNA replication only inactivates the viral particle. Ethacridine can be combined with drugs such as remdesivir (prevents viral replication) to improve clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

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