A bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid.

Phase of research

Potential treatment - pre-clinical evidence

How it helps


Drug status

Natural product

Supporting references
Contradictory references
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Clinical trials

General information

Neferine is a bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid. It has been reported to act as a calcium channel blocker and shown to possess anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in vitro (He et al., 2021).

Neferine on PubChem


Neferin; SC185


Structure image - Neferine


Supporting references

Link Tested on Impact factor Notes Publication date
Identification of bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids as SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors from a library of natural products
Small molecule In vitro Mechanism
in vitro binding assay; 293T-ACE2 cells; Calu-3 cells; A549 cells; Vero E6 cells; (HIV-1) SARS-CoV-2 Spike (D614/G614/B.1.1.7/B.1.351); SARS-CoV-2 live virus 13.49

Neferine inhibited lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 Spike-pseudotyped virus infection in 293T-ACE2 (EC50 of 0.95 μM or lower, SI >52), Calu-3 and A549 cells. It displayed efficacy also against pseudoviruses with Spike protein of G614, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, SARS, and MERS viruses/strains. The experimental findings suggest that the compound blocks coronavirus entry into host cells by inhibition of calcium ion channels. The compound was also shown to protect Vero E6 cells from SARS-CoV-2 live virus-induced cytopathogenic effect.


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