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Comment published on 28 February 2022, see Viruses 2022, 14(3), 494.
Brief Report

Amantadine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro

Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH, 60318 Frankfurt, Germany
Robert-Koch-Institut, Zentrum für Biologische Gefahren und Spezielle Pathogene: Hochpathogene Viren (ZBS 1), 13353 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kenneth Lundstrom
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 539;
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 17 March 2021 / Accepted: 19 March 2021 / Published: 24 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Therapeutics against Coronaviruses)
Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic started in late 2019, the search for protective vaccines and for drug treatments has become mandatory to fight the global health emergency. Travel restrictions, social distancing, and face masks are suitable counter measures, but may not bring the pandemic under control because people will inadvertently or at a certain degree of restriction severity or duration become incompliant with the regulations. Even if vaccines are approved, the need for antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 will persist. However, unequivocal evidence for efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 has not been demonstrated for any of the repurposed antiviral drugs so far. Amantadine was approved as an antiviral drug against influenza A, and antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 has been reasoned by analogy but without data. We tested the efficacy of amantadine in vitro in Vero E6 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, amantadine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in two separate experiments with IC50 concentrations between 83 and 119 µM. Although these IC50 concentrations are above therapeutic amantadine levels after systemic administration, topical administration by inhalation or intranasal instillation may result in sufficient amantadine concentration in the airway epithelium without high systemic exposure. However, further studies in other models are needed to prove this hypothesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: amantadine; antiviral drugs; Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2 amantadine; antiviral drugs; Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fink, K.; Nitsche, A.; Neumann, M.; Grossegesse, M.; Eisele, K.-H.; Danysz, W. Amantadine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro. Viruses 2021, 13, 539.

AMA Style

Fink K, Nitsche A, Neumann M, Grossegesse M, Eisele K-H, Danysz W. Amantadine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro. Viruses. 2021; 13(4):539.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fink, Klaus, Andreas Nitsche, Markus Neumann, Marica Grossegesse, Karl-Heinz Eisele, and Wojciech Danysz. 2021. "Amantadine Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro" Viruses 13, no. 4: 539.

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