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Virtual screening and repurposing of FDA approved drugs against COVID-19 main protease

Kandeel et al., Life Sciences, doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117627
Jun 2020  
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In Silico study of 1,500 FDA-approved drugs finding that vitamin B12 had strong binding affinity with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, and may be beneficial for COVID-19 treatment.
Kandeel et al., 30 Jun 2020, China, peer-reviewed, 2 authors.
In Silico studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Virtual screening and repurposing of FDA approved drugs against COVID-19 main protease
Mahmoud Kandeel, Mohammed Al-Nazawi
Life Sciences, doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117627
Aims: In December 2019, the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) virus has emerged in Wuhan, China. In this research, the first resolved COVID-19 crystal structure (main protease) was targeted in a virtual screening study by of FDA approved drugs dataset. In addition, a knowledge gap in relations of COVID-19 with the previously known fatal Coronaviruses (CoVs) epidemics, SARS and MERS CoVs, was covered by investigation of sequence statistics and phylogenetics. Materials and methods: Molecular modeling, virtual screening, docking, sequence comparison statistics and phylogenetics of the COVID-19 main protease were investigated. Key findings: COVID-19 Mpro formed a phylogenetic group with SARS CoV that was distant from MERS CoV. The identity% was 96.061 and 51.61 for COVID-19/SARS and COVID-19/MERS CoV sequence comparisons, respectively. The top 20 drugs in the virtual screening studies comprised a broad-spectrum antiviral (ribavirin), anti-hepatitis B virus (telbivudine), two vitamins (vitamin B12 and nicotinamide) and other miscellaneous systemically acting drugs. Of special interest, ribavirin had been used in treating cases of SARS CoV. Significance: The present study provided a comprehensive targeting of the first resolved COVID+19 structure of Mpro and found a suitable save drugs for repurposing against the viral Mpro. Ribavirin, telbivudine, vitamin B12 and nicotinamide can be combined and used for COVID treatment. This initiative relocates already marketed and approved safe drugs for potential use in COVID-treatment.
Declaration of competing interest The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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