Use of Sulforaphane to inhibit Coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and to treat coronavirus diseases such as COVID19

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Unmet Need: COVID-19 is a worldwide problem, and infection rates continue to -increase as new variants arise .  Additionally, Long COVID has emerged as a growing problem of great concern.  Very few options for treatment are available for general use. Therefore, more therapies and prophylactics are urgently needed to suppress the rise of confirmed acute cases, reduce morbidity and mortality, and reduce cases of Long COVID.  (For reference, see


Technology Overview: Johns Hopkins researchers have invented a method to prevent and treat COVID-19, caused by pandemic SARS-CoV-2, as well as infections caused by seasonal coronaviruses, such as HCoV-OC43. They propose the use of sulforaphane (SF), a natural compound derived from  cruciferous vegetables (e.g., . broccoli, kale, etc.), for COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Their in vitro experiments showed that SF inhibits the replication of six strains of SARS-CoV-2, including Omicron,  as well as HCoV-OC43. Further, SF given to mice prior to infection with SARS-CoV-2 decreased viral load in the respiratory tract and reduced pulmonary pathology caused by the virus infection. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of SF to be a relatively inexpensive,   widely available prophylactic and therapeutic agent against COVID-19 and other coronavirus infections.

Stage of Development: This technology is under pre-clinical development.


Commun Biol. 2022 Mar 18;5(1):242. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03189-z

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
METHODS FOR INHIBITING CORONAVIRUSES USING SULFORAPHANE PCT: Patent Cooperation Treaty United States 18/274,560   7/27/2023     Pending
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Vera Sampels
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