Aprotinin is effective in COVID-19 patients

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A clinical study from Spain recently confirmed laboratory experiments made by researchers of Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Kent who showed that the protease inhibitor aprotinin prevented cells to be infected by SARS-CoV2. The authors of the clinical study report that patients receiving an aprotinin aerosol could be discharged from hospital significantly earlier.

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, needs its to dock onto proteins (ACE receptors) on the surface of the host cells. Before this docking is possible, parts of the spike protein have to be cleaved by host cell's enzymes called proteases. In 2020, a scientific team led by Professor Jindrich Cinatl (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), Professor Martin Michaelis and Professor Mark Wass (both University of Kent, UK), conducted cell culture experiments and found that aprotinin, a , could inhibit virus replications by preventing SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells.

In a more recent study, the research consortium further showed that aprotinin is also effective against the Delta and Omicron variants.

Now, a Spanish has published the findings of a phase III investigating the use of an aprotinin aerosol in COVID-19 patients. Among other improvements, aprotinin treatment reduced the length of hospital stays by five days.

Professor Jindrich Cinatl, Goethe University Frankfurt, says that "this shows how scientific collaborations work even without a direct relationship between researchers. I am very glad that our cell culture study inspired this successful clinical trial."

Professor Martin Michaelis, University of Kent, says that their "cell culture data looked very convincing. It is exciting that aprotinin has now also been shown to be effective against COVID-19 in patients."

The research was published in European Journal of Clinical Investigation.

More information: Francisco Javier Redondo‐Calvo et al, Aprotinin treatment against SARS‐CoV‐2: A randomized phase III study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a pan‐protease inhibitor for moderate COVID‐19, European Journal of Clinical Investigation (2022). DOI: 10.1111/eci.13776

Citation: Aprotinin is effective in COVID-19 patients (2022, April 11) retrieved 2 June 2023 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-04-aprotinin-effective-covid-patients.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

New drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19


Feedback to editors