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Response to the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 31 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m406

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Re: Use of AT1 receptors antagonists in corona virus disease

Dear Editor,

I think that the idea of the possible usefulness of angiotensin II receptor blockers (like Irbesartan, losartan, etc.) in the treatment of COV-19 virus disease may derive from a paper publshed in 2005 (NATURE MEDICINE VOLUME 11 | NUMBER 8 | AUGUST 2005).

In that paper it was demonstrated that SARS-CoV, binding on ACE2 enzyme, induces the formation of an excess of ATII, thus leading to severe lung injury.

The use of "sartans" can't be presumed as antiviral therapy, nonetheless it could ameliorate the pulmonary deleterious effects of the virus infection.


Massimo Pinori

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 February 2020
Massimo Pinori
Head of Medicinal chemistry department (retired)
Italfarmaco SpA (retired)
Paderno d'Adda (LC) - Italy