Baricitinib, a drug with potential effect to prevent SARS-COV-2 from entering target cells and control cytokine storm induced by COVID-19

Journal of International Immunopharmacology. 2020 Sep;86:106749. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2020.106749.

BARI may potentially interrupt the passage of SARS-CoV-2 into the target cells by binding to AAK1 and GAK, which are regulators of the ACE2 receptor regulator identified for its uptake, and could also treat cytokine storm through suppression JAK1/JAK2. Professor Zhang and et al reviewed BARI, as a potential drug to prevent SARS-COV-2 from entering target cells. They also evaluated BARI’s ability to control COVID-19 induced cytokine storm. As a cell surface protein, ACE2 is involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis for SARS-CoV-2 entry to the cells. The report theorised that BARI was expected to have a high binding affinity to AAK1 and GAK, and interrupt the passage and intracellular assembly of SARS-CoV-2 into the target cells. Furthermore, the JAK-STAT signalling pathway also participates in the cytokine storm in moderate to severe COVID-19 cases. Baricitinib is expected to treat cytokine storm caused by COVID-19 by suppressing JAK1/JAK2, with several clinical trials registered around the world. Exciting results showed BARI potentially improve the outcome of COVID-19 patients. Bari was generally well tolerated and demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials and could be an option in the treatment of COVID-19.