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Nitazoxanide and JIB-04 have broad-spectrum antiviral activity and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture and coronavirus pathogenesis in a pig model

By Juhee Son, Shimeng Huang, Qiru Zeng, Traci L. Bricker, James Brett Case, Jinzhu Zhou, Ruochen Zang, Zhuoming Liu, Xinjian Chang, Houda H. Harastani, Lu Chen, Maria Florencia Gomez Castro, Yongxiang Zhao, Hinissan P. Kohio, Gaopeng Hou, Baochao Fan, Beibei Niu, Rongli Guo, Paul W Rothlauf, Adam L Bailey, Xin Wang, Pei-Yong Shi, Sean P. J. Whelan, Michael S. Diamond, Adrianus C.M. Boon, Bin Li, Siyuan Ding

Posted 25 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.24.312165

Pathogenic coronaviruses represent a major threat to global public health. Here, using a recombinant reporter virus-based compound screening approach, we identified several small-molecule inhibitors that potently block the replication of the newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Two compounds, nitazoxanide and JIB-04 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero E6 cells with an EC50 of 4.90 μM and 0.69 μM, respectively, with specificity indices of greater than 150. Both inhibitors had in vitro antiviral activity in multiple cell types against some DNA and RNA viruses, including porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus. In an in vivo porcine model of coronavirus infection, administration of JIB-04 reduced virus infection and associated tissue pathology, which resulted in improved body weight gain and survival. These results highlight the potential utility of nitazoxanide and JIB-04 as antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 and other viral pathogens. ### Competing Interest Statement The Boon laboratory has scientific research agreements with AI therapeutics, Greenlight Biosciences and Nano Targeting & Therapy Biopharma Inc. M.S.D. is a consultant for Inbios, Eli Lilly, Vir Biotechnology, NGM Biopharmaceuticals, and Emergent BioSolutions and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Moderna and Immunome. The Diamond laboratory at Washington University School of Medicine has received unrelated sponsored research agreements from Moderna, Vir Biotechnology, and Emergent BioSolutions.

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