Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes express SARS-CoV-2 host entry proteins: screen to identify inhibitors of infection



8th February 2021

Contributing to research themes:

This research has not been peer-reviewed, and has been posted on pre-print repository bioRxiv. This is a preliminary report that should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behaviour, or be reported in news media as established information.


Patients with cardiovascular comorbidities are more susceptible to severe infection with SARS-CoV-2, known to directly cause pathological damage to cardiovascular tissue. We outline a screening platform using human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, confirmed to express the protein machinery critical for SARS-CoV-2 infection, and a pseudotyped virus system. The method has allowed us to identify benztropine and DX600 as novel inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Author list:

Thomas L. Williams, Maria T. Colzani, Robyn G.C. Macrae, Emma L. Robinson, Stuart Bloor, Edward J. D. Greenwood, Jun Ru Zhan, Gregory Strachan, Rhoda E. Kuc, Duuamene Nyimanu, Janet J. Maguire, Paul J. Lehner, Sanjay Sinha, Anthony P. Davenport