Interaction of SARS-CoV-2 Surface Protein (Spike Protein) with Heparin: Therapeutic Potential

  • Funded by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo Research Foundation] (FAPESP)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: 2020/04899-1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo Research Foundation] (FAPESP)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    Brazil, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

    Universidade Federal de São Paulo
  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory

    Pathogen morphology, shedding & natural history

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Currently, there are no drugs commercially available and / or designed to treat and prevent infections associated with the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak. Traditionally, drug development has been slow and ineffective against these threats to public health. Therefore, the redirection of existing medications capable of preventing and treating new coronavirus infections is a timely and very attractive alternative. Heparin, a well-tolerated anticoagulant drug, has been used safely in medicine for more than 80 years and, together with its anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory activities, has a known ability to prevent viral infections, including coronavirus. Preliminary data show that SARS-CoV-2 Surface Protein (Spike Protein), the protein responsible for infection of host cells, binds to heparin. Also, high mortality rates due to COVID-19 are associated with coagulopathy and hypercytokininaemia (cytokine storm). Therefore, this project aims to study and explore the structural properties of heparin that mediate such interaction as proof of concept for the development of heparin-based antiviral drugs.