Digoxin, a glycoside extracted from the foxglove plant, Digitalis lanata, is a very old and very well studied drug. Whilst it is prescribed solely to treat certain heart conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, it has both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Based on two very different, large scale drug screening experiments -an in silico screening1 and a cell infection assay2 – digoxin was recently identified as a potential drug that may bind the Mpro protease of SARS-COV-2 and related viruses. Because digoxin exerts toxic systemic effects above certain concentrations, we believe it is a particularly interesting molecule for localized delivery in the lungs, to inhibit viral replication where it appears to be the most damaging. Digoxin-N has been formulated and preclinical studies are starting.
Watch the video below that makes the case for Digoxin.
1. Screening of FDA-approved drugs using a MERS-CoV clinical isolate from South Korea identifies potential therapeutic options for COVID-19. Meehyun Ko et al. bioRxiv 2020.02.25.965582; https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.25.965582
2. Talluri, S. Virtual Screening Based Prediction of Potential Drugs for COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020020418 https://doi: 10.20944/preprints202002.0418.v2