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Researcher at AP-HP, Service d’Urgences - SAMU – SMUR, Hôpital Avicenne
There is an urgent need for specific antiviral drugs directed against SARS-CoV-2 both to prevent the most severe forms of COVID-19 and to reduce viral excretion and subsequent virus dissemination; in the present pandemic context, drug repurposing is a priority. Targeting the nucleoprotein N of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in order to inhibit its association with viral RNA could be a strategy to impeding viral replication and possibly other essential functions associated with viral N. The antiviral properties of naproxen, belonging to the NSAID family, previously demonstrated against Influenza A virus, were evaluated against SARS-CoV-2. Naproxen binding to the nucleoprotein of SARS-CoV2 was shown by molecular modeling. In VeroE6 cells and reconstituted human primary respiratory epithelium models of SARS-CoV-2 infection, naproxen inhibited viral replication and protected the bronchial epithelia against SARS-CoV-2 induced-damage. The benefit of naproxen addition to the standard of care is tested in an on-going clinical study. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.