The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant morbidity and mortality on a global scale. The etiologic agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), initiates host cell entry when its spike protein (S) binds to its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In airway epithelia, the spike protein is cleaved by the cell surface protease TMPRSS2, facilitating membrane fusion and entry at the cell surface. This dependence on TMPRSS2 and related proteases suggests that protease inhibitors might limit SARS-CoV-2 infection in the respiratory tract. Here, we tested two serine protease inhibitors, camostat mesylate and nafamostat mesylate, for their ability to inhibit entry of SARS-CoV-2 and that of a second pathogenic coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Both camostat and nafamostat reduced infection in primary human airway epithelia and in the Calu-3 2B4 cell line, with nafamostat exhibiting greater potency. We then assessed whether nafamostat was protective against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo using two mouse models. In mice sensitized to SARS-CoV-2 infection by transduction with human ACE2, intranasal nafamostat treatment prior to or shortly after SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly reduced weight loss and lung tissue titers. Similarly, prophylactic intranasal treatment with nafamostat reduced weight loss, viral burden, and mortality in K18-hACE2 transgenic mice. These findings establish nafamostat as a candidate for the prevention or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease pathogenesis.

Matéria original


Subcutaneous REGEN-COV Antibody Combination to Prevent Covid-19


Anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-cytokine storm neutralizing antibody therapies against COVID-19: Update, challenges, and perspectives