SARS-CoV-2 virus has recently given rise to the current COVID-19 pandemic where infected individuals can range from being asymptomatic, yet highly contagious, to dying from acute respiratory distress syndrome. Although the world has mobilized to create antiviral vaccines and therapeutics to combat the scourge, their long-term efficacy remains in question especially with the emergence of new variants. In this work, we exploit a class of compounds that has previously shown success against various viruses. A salicylanilide library was first screened in a SARS-CoV-2 activity assay in Vero cells. The most efficacious derivative was further evaluated in a prophylactic mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection unveiling a salicylanilide that can reduce viral loads, modulate key cytokines, and mitigate severe weight loss involved in COVID-19 infections. The combination of anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, cytokine inhibitory activity, and a previously established favorable pharmacokinetic profile for the lead salicylanilide renders salicylanilides in general as promising therapeutics for COVID-19.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction