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Brilacidin Demonstrates Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in Cell Culture

National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, George Mason University, Manassas, VA 20110, USA
Public Health Research Institute, Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ 07103, USA
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc., Wakefield, MA 01880, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Deborah H. Fuller
Viruses 2021, 13(2), 271;
Received: 12 January 2021 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 February 2021 / Published: 9 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the newly emergent causative agent of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), has resulted in more than two million deaths worldwide since it was first detected in 2019. There is a critical global need for therapeutic intervention strategies that can be deployed to safely treat COVID-19 disease and reduce associated morbidity and mortality. Increasing evidence shows that both natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), also referred to as Host Defense Proteins/Peptides (HDPs), can inhibit SARS-CoV-2, paving the way for the potential clinical use of these molecules as therapeutic options. In this manuscript, we describe the potent antiviral activity exerted by brilacidin—a de novo designed synthetic small molecule that captures the biological properties of HDPs—on SARS-CoV-2 in a human lung cell line (Calu-3) and a monkey cell line (Vero). These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 inhibition in these cell culture models is likely to be a result of the impact of brilacidin on viral entry and its disruption of viral integrity. Brilacidin demonstrated synergistic antiviral activity when combined with remdesivir. Collectively, our data demonstrate that brilacidin exerts potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 against different strains of the virus in cell culture. View Full-Text
Keywords: brilacidin; coronavirus; antiviral; defensin; peptidomimetic; entry inhibition brilacidin; coronavirus; antiviral; defensin; peptidomimetic; entry inhibition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bakovic, A.; Risner, K.; Bhalla, N.; Alem, F.; Chang, T.L.; Weston, W.K.; Harness, J.A.; Narayanan, A. Brilacidin Demonstrates Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in Cell Culture. Viruses 2021, 13, 271.

AMA Style

Bakovic A, Risner K, Bhalla N, Alem F, Chang TL, Weston WK, Harness JA, Narayanan A. Brilacidin Demonstrates Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in Cell Culture. Viruses. 2021; 13(2):271.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bakovic, Allison, Kenneth Risner, Nishank Bhalla, Farhang Alem, Theresa L. Chang, Warren K. Weston, Jane A. Harness, and Aarthi Narayanan. 2021. "Brilacidin Demonstrates Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in Cell Culture" Viruses 13, no. 2: 271.

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