Will Auranofin Become a Golden New Treatment Against COVID-19?

Auranofin is not recommended in pregnant women and a highly effective birth control should be used

Karine Sonzogni-Desautels; Momar Ndao


Scholarcy highlights

  • COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has infected, as of March 7th 2021, more than 116 millions of people and caused more than 2.5 million deaths worldwide due to sustained humanto-human transmission
  • Auranofin is not recommended in pregnant women and a highly effective birth control should be used
  • If further in vitro investigations followed by pre-clinical studies in animal models of COVID-19 prove that auranofin can inhibit NF-kB-induced IL-6 expression as well as SARS-CoV-2 replication and SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease, auranofin could become a valuable addition to available therapies for COVID-19
  • While information on the action of auranofin during SARS-CoV-2 infection is limited, knowledge of the mechanism of action of auranofin in the treatment of autoimmune and infectious diseases allow to predict that this compound could be a promising candidate in the treatment of COVID-19
  • If pre-clinical studies prove the anti-COVID-19 properties of auranofin, these data will pave the way for clinical trials with SARS-CoV-2-infected patients to repurpose auranofin for the treatment of COVID-19
  • Further studies could determine if the inhibitory effect of auranofin on thioredoxin reductase can induce redox-sensitive apoptosis of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and if its anti-fibrotic action can prevent COVID-19-associated pulmonary fibrosis. This oral therapy could be added to supportive therapies administered to patients under monitoring in hospital settings and could benefit COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms recovering at home
  • We join our voices with other researchers to encourage the evaluation in animal models and clinical trials of chrysotherapy with auranofin, or possibly other gold metallodrugs, alone or in combination with other immunomodulatory molecules for the treatment of COVID-19

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