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Arbidol, umifenovir for COVID-19

Arbidol, umifenovir has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Amani et al., Efficacy and safety of arbidol (umifenovir) in patients with COVID‐19: A systematic review and meta‐analysis, Immunity, Inflammation and Disease, doi:10.1002/iid3.502
AbstractObjectiveTo provide the latest evidence for the efficacy and safety of arbidol (umifenovir) in COVID‐19 treatment.MethodsA literature systematic search was carried out in PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, and medRxiv up to May 2021. The Cochrane risk of bias tool and Newcastle–Ottawa scale were used to assess the quality of included studies. Meta‐analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3.ResultsSixteen studies were met the inclusion criteria. No significant difference was observed between arbidol and non‐antiviral treatment groups neither for primary outcomes, including the negative rate of PCR (NR‐PCR) on Day 7 (risk ratio [RR]: 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.78–1.14) and Day 14 (RR: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.96–1.25), and PCR negative conversion time (PCR‐NCT; mean difference [MD]: 0.74; 95% CI: −0.87 to 2.34), nor secondary outcomes (p > .05). However, arbidol was associated with higher adverse events (RR: 2.24; 95% CI: 1.06–4.73). Compared with lopinavir/ritonavir, arbidol showed better efficacy for primary outcomes (p < .05). Adding arbidol to lopinavir/ritonavir also led to better efficacy in terms of NR‐PCR on Day 7 and PCR‐NCT (p < .05). There was no significant difference between arbidol and chloroquine in primary outcomes (p > .05). No remarkable therapeutic effect was observed between arbidol and other agents (p > .05).ConclusionThe present meta‐analysis showed no significant benefit of using arbidol compared with non‐antiviral treatment or other therapeutic agents against COVID‐19 disease. High‐quality studies are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of arbidol for COVID‐19.
Nojomi et al., Effect of Arbidol (Umifenovir) on COVID-19: a randomized controlled trial, BMC Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1186/s12879-020-05698-w
Abstract Background Treatment of patients with COVID-19 has included supportive care to mainly relief symptoms of the disease. Although World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended any effective treatments for COVID-19, there are some reports about use of antiviral drugs. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of Arbidol (ARB) on COVID-19 disease. Methods Using an open-label randomized controlled trial, we examined the efficacy of ARB in patients with COVID-19 in a teaching hospital. One hundred eligible patients with diagnosis of COVID-19 were recruited in the study and assigned randomly to two groups of either hydroxychloroquine followed by KALETRA (Lopinavir/ritonavir) or hydroxychloroquine followed by ARB. The primary outcome was hospitalization duration and clinical improvement 7 days after admission. The criteria of improvement were relief of cough, dyspnea, and fever. Time to relief from fever was also assessed across the two groups. Without any dropouts, 100 patients were entered into the study for the final analysis at significance level of 0.05. Results The mean age of patients was 56.6 (17.8) years and 56.2 (14.8) years in ARB and KALETRA groups, respectively. Majority of patients were male across two groups (66 and 54%). The duration of hospitalization in ARB group was significantly less than KALETRA arm (7.2 versus 9.6 days; P = 0.02). Time to relief fever was almost similar across two groups (2.7 versus 3.1 days in ARB and KALETRA arms, respectively). Peripheral oxygen saturation rate was significantly different after 7 days of admission across two groups (94% versus 92% in ARB and KALETRA groups respectively) (P = 0.02). Based on multiple linear regression analysis, IHD, Na level, and oxygen saturation at the time of admission and type of therapy were the independent adjusted variables that determined the duration of hospitalization in patients with COVID-19. Conclusion Our findings showed that Arbidol, compared to KALETRA, significantly contributes to clinical and laboratory improvements, including peripheral oxygen saturation, requiring ICU admissions, duration of hospitalization, chest CT involvements, WBC, and ESR. We suggest further studies on ARB against COVID-19 using larger sample size and multicenter design. Trial registration IRCT20180725040596N2 on 18 April 2020.
Leneva et al., Antiviral Activity of Umifenovir In Vitro against a Broad Spectrum of Coronaviruses, Including the Novel SARS-CoV-2 Virus, Viruses, doi:10.3390/v13081665
An escalating pandemic of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is impacting global health, and effective antivirals are needed. Umifenovir (Arbidol) is an indole-derivative molecule, licensed in Russia and China for prophylaxis and treatment of influenza and other respiratory viral infections. It has been shown that umifenovir has broad spectrum activity against different viruses. We evaluated the sensitivity of different coronaviruses, including the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, to umifenovir using in vitro assays. Using a plaque assay, we revealed an antiviral effect of umifenovir against seasonal HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 coronaviruses in Vero E6 cells, with estimated 50% effective concentrations (EC50) of 10.0 ± 0.5 µM and 9.0 ± 0.4 µM, respectively. Umifenovir at 90 µM significantly suppressed plaque formation in CMK-AH-1 cells infected with SARS-CoV. Umifenovir also inhibited the replication of SARS-CoV-2 virus, with EC50 values ranging from 15.37 ± 3.6 to 28.0 ± 1.0 µM. In addition, 21–36 µM of umifenovir significantly suppressed SARS-CoV-2 virus titers (≥2 log TCID50/mL) in the first 24 h after infection. Repurposing of antiviral drugs is very helpful in fighting COVID-19. A safe, pan-antiviral drug such as umifenovir could be extremely beneficial in combating the early stages of a viral pandemic.
Freidel et al., Research Progress on Spike-Dependent SARS-CoV-2 Fusion Inhibitors and Small Molecules Targeting the S2 Subunit of Spike, Viruses, doi:10.3390/v16050712
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive drug repurposing efforts have sought to identify small-molecule antivirals with various mechanisms of action. Here, we aim to review research progress on small-molecule viral entry and fusion inhibitors that directly bind to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. Early in the pandemic, numerous small molecules were identified in drug repurposing screens and reported to be effective in in vitro SARS-CoV-2 viral entry or fusion inhibitors. However, given minimal experimental information regarding the exact location of small-molecule binding sites on Spike, it was unclear what the specific mechanism of action was or where the exact binding sites were on Spike for some inhibitor candidates. The work of countless researchers has yielded great progress, with the identification of many viral entry inhibitors that target elements on the S1 receptor-binding domain (RBD) or N-terminal domain (NTD) and disrupt the S1 receptor-binding function. In this review, we will also focus on highlighting fusion inhibitors that target inhibition of the S2 fusion function, either by disrupting the formation of the postfusion S2 conformation or alternatively by stabilizing structural elements of the prefusion S2 conformation to prevent conformational changes associated with S2 function. We highlight experimentally validated binding sites on the S1/S2 interface and on the S2 subunit. While most substitutions to the Spike protein to date in variants of concern (VOCs) have been localized to the S1 subunit, the S2 subunit sequence is more conserved, with only a few observed substitutions in proximity to S2 binding sites. Several recent small molecules targeting S2 have been shown to have robust activity over recent VOC mutant strains and/or greater broad-spectrum antiviral activity for other more distantly related coronaviruses.
Yang et al., Rapid Structure-Based Screening Informs Potential Agents for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak*, Chinese Physics Letters, doi:10.1088/0256-307X/37/5/058701
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel coronavirus, has spread rapidly across China. Consequently, there is an urgent need to sort and develop novel agents for the prevention and treatment of viral infections. A rapid structure-based virtual screening is used for the evaluation of current commercial drugs, with structures of human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), and viral main protease, spike, envelope, membrane and nucleocapsid proteins. Our results reveal that the reported drugs Arbidol, Chloroquine and Remdesivir may hinder the entry and release of virions through the bindings with ACE2, spike and envelope proteins. Due to the similar binding patterns, NHC (β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine) and Triazavirin are also in prospects for clinical use. Main protease (3CLpro) is likely to be a feasible target of drug design. The screening results to target 3CL-pro reveal that Mitoguazone, Metformin, Biguanide Hydrochloride, Gallic acid, Caffeic acid, Sulfaguanidine and Acetylcysteine seem be possible inhibitors and have potential application in the clinical therapy of COVID-19.
Zeng et al., Calpain-2 mediates SARS-CoV-2 entry via regulating ACE2 levels, mBio, doi:10.1128/mbio.02287-23
ABSTRACT Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, much effort has been dedicated to identifying effective antivirals against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A number of calpain inhibitors show excellent antiviral activities against SARS-CoV-2 by targeting the viral main protease (M pro ), which plays an essential role in processing viral polyproteins. In this study, we found that calpain inhibitors potently inhibited the infection of a chimeric vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein but not M pro . In contrast, calpain inhibitors did not exhibit antiviral activities toward the wild-type VSV with its native glycoprotein. Genetic knockout of calpain-2 by CRISPR/Cas9 conferred resistance of the host cells to the chimeric VSV-SARS-CoV-2 virus and a clinical isolate of wild-type SARS-CoV-2. Mechanistically, calpain-2 facilitates SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-mediated cell attachment by positively regulating the cell surface levels of ACE2. These results highlight an M pro -independent pathway targeted by calpain inhibitors for efficient viral inhibition. We also identify calpain-2 as a novel host factor and a potential therapeutic target responsible for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the entry step. IMPORTANCE Many efforts in small-molecule screens have been made to counter SARS-CoV-2 infection by targeting the viral main protease, the major element that processes viral proteins after translation. Here, we discovered that calpain inhibitors further block SARS-CoV-2 infection in a main protease-independent manner. We identified the host cysteine protease calpain-2 as an important positive regulator of the cell surface levels of SARS-CoV-2 cellular receptor ACE2 and, thus, a facilitator of viral infection. By either pharmacological inhibition or genetic knockout of calpain-2, the SARS-CoV-2 binding to host cells is blocked and viral infection is decreased. Our findings highlight a novel mechanism of ACE2 regulation, which presents a potential new therapeutic target. Since calpain inhibitors also potently interfere with the viral main protease, our data also provide a mechanistic understanding of the potential use of calpain inhibitors as dual inhibitors (entry and replication) in the clinical setting of COVID-19 diseases. Our findings bring mechanistic insights into the cellular process of SARS-CoV-2 entry and offer a novel explanation to the mechanism of activities of calpain inhibitors.
Wang et al., A Mini-Review on the Common Antiviral Drug Targets of Coronavirus, Microorganisms, doi:10.3390/microorganisms12030600
Coronaviruses in general are a zoonotic pathogen with significant cross-species transmission. They are widely distributed in nature and have recently become a major threat to global public health. Vaccines are the preferred strategy for the prevention of coronaviruses. However, the rapid rate of virus mutation, large number of prevalent strains, and lag in vaccine development contribute to the continuing frequent occurrence of coronavirus diseases. There is an urgent need for new antiviral strategies to address coronavirus infections effectively. Antiviral drugs are important in the prevention and control of viral diseases. Members of the genus coronavirus are highly similar in life-cycle processes such as viral invasion and replication. These, together with the high degree of similarity in the protein sequences and structures of viruses in the same genus, provide common targets for antiviral drug screening of coronaviruses and have led to important advances in recent years. In this review, we summarize the pathogenic mechanisms of coronavirus, common drugs targeting coronavirus entry into host cells, and common drug targets against coronaviruses based on biosynthesis and on viral assembly and release. We also describe the common targets of antiviral drugs against coronaviruses and the progress of antiviral drug research. Our aim is to provide a theoretical basis for the development of antiviral drugs and to accelerate the development and utilization of commonly used antiviral drugs in China.
Sharun et al., A comprehensive review on pharmacologic agents, immunotherapies and supportive therapeutics for COVID-19, Narra J, doi:10.52225/narra.v2i3.92
The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has affected many countries throughout the world. As urgency is a necessity, most efforts have focused on identifying small molecule drugs that can be repurposed for use as anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. Although several drug candidates have been identified using in silico method and in vitro studies, most of these drugs require the support of in vivo data before they can be considered for clinical trials. Several drugs are considered promising therapeutic agents for COVID-19. In addition to the direct-acting antiviral drugs, supportive therapies including traditional Chinese medicine, immunotherapies, immunomodulators, and nutritional therapy could contribute a major role in treating COVID-19 patients. Some of these drugs have already been included in the treatment guidelines, recommendations, and standard operating procedures. In this article, we comprehensively review the approved and potential therapeutic drugs, immune cells-based therapies, immunomodulatory agents/drugs, herbs and plant metabolites, nutritional and dietary for COVID-19.
Touret et al., In vitro screening of a FDA approved chemical library reveals potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.04.03.023846
SummaryA novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, emerged in 2019 from Hubei region in China and rapidly spread worldwide. As no approved therapeutics exists to treat Covid-19, the disease associated to SARS-Cov-2, there is an urgent need to propose molecules that could quickly enter into clinics. Repurposing of approved drugs is a strategy that can bypass the time consuming stages of drug development. In this study, we screened the Prestwick Chemical Library® composed of 1,520 approved drugs in an infected cell-based assay. 90 compounds were identified. The robustness of the screen was assessed by the identification of drugs, such as Chloroquine derivatives and protease inhibitors, already in clinical trials. The hits were sorted according to their chemical composition and their known therapeutic effect, then EC50 and CC50 were determined for a subset of compounds. Several drugs, such as Azithromycine, Opipramol, Quinidine or Omeprazol present antiviral potency with 2<EC50<20µM. By providing new information on molecules inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro, this study could contribute to the short-term repurposing of drugs against Covid-19.
Barik et al., Molecular docking and binding mode analysis of selected FDA approved drugs against COVID-19 selected key protein targets: An effort towards drug repurposing to identify the combination therapy to combat COVID-19, arXiv, doi:10.48550/arXiv.2004.06447
The emergence of COVID-19 has severely compromised the arsenal of antiviral and antibiotic drugs. Drug discovery is a multistep process with a high failure rate, high cost and it takes approximately 10-12 years for the development of new molecules into the clinical candidate. On the other side, drug repurposing also called old drugs for new uses, is an attractive alternative approach for a new application of marketed FDA approved or investigational drugs. In the current pandemic situation raised due to COVID-19, repurposing of existing FDA approved drugs are emerging as the first line of the treatment. The causative viral agent of this highly contagious disease and acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) shares high nucleotide similarity. Therefore, many existing viral targets are structurally expected to be similar to SARS-CoV and likely to be inhibited by the same compounds. Here, we selected three viral key proteins based on their vital role in viral life cycle: ACE2 (helps in entry into the human host), viral nonstructural proteins RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) NSP12, and NSP16 which helps in replication, and viral latency (invasion from immunity). The FDA approved drugs chloroquine (CQ), hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), remdesivir (RDV) and arbidol (ABD) are emerging as promising agents to combat COVID-19. Our hypothesis behind the docking studies is to determine the binding affinities of these drugs and identify the key amino acid residues playing a key role in their mechanism of action. The docking studies were carried out through Autodock and online COVID-19 docking server. Further studies on a broad range of FDA approved drugs including few more protein targets, molecular dynamics studies, in-vitro and in-vivo biological evaluation are required to identify the combination therapy targeting various stages of the viral life cycle.
Xiao et al., Identification of potent and safe antiviral therapeutic candidates against SARS-CoV-2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.07.06.188953
AbstractCOVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of people with mortality exceeding 300,000. There is an urgent need to find therapeutic agents that can help clear the virus to prevent the severe disease and death. Identifying effective and safer drugs can provide with more options to treat the COVID-19 infections either alone or in combination. Here we performed a high throughput screen of approximately 1700 US FDA approved compounds to identify novel therapeutic agents that can effectively inhibit replication of coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Our two-step screen first used a human coronavirus strain OC43 to identify compounds with anti-coronaviral activities. The effective compounds were then screened for their effectiveness in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2. These screens have identified 24 anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs including previously reported compounds such as hydroxychloroquine, amlodipine, arbidol hydrochloride, tilorone 2HCl, dronedarone hydrochloride, and merfloquine hydrochloride. Five of the newly identified drugs had a safety index (cytotoxic/effective concentration) of >600, indicating wide therapeutic window compared to hydroxychloroquine which had safety index of 22 in similar experiments. Mechanistically, five of the effective compounds were found to block SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated cell fusion. These FDA approved compounds can provide much needed therapeutic options that we urgently need in the midst of the pandemic.
Xiao et al., Identification of Potent and Safe Antiviral Therapeutic Candidates Against SARS-CoV-2, Frontiers in Immunology, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.586572
COVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of people with mortality exceeding >1 million. There is an urgent need to find therapeutic agents that can help clear the virus to prevent severe disease and death. Identifying effective and safer drugs can provide more options to treat COVID-19 infections either alone or in combination. Here, we performed a high throughput screening of approximately 1,700 US FDA-approved compounds to identify novel therapeutic agents that can effectively inhibit replication of coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Our two-step screen first used a human coronavirus strain OC43 to identify compounds with anti-coronaviral activities. The effective compounds were then screened for their effectiveness in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2. These screens have identified 20 anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs including previously reported compounds such as hydroxychloroquine, amlodipine besylate, arbidol hydrochloride, tilorone 2HCl, dronedarone hydrochloride, mefloquine, and thioridazine hydrochloride. Five of the newly identified drugs had a safety index (cytotoxic/effective concentration) of >600, indicating a wide therapeutic window compared to hydroxychloroquine which had a safety index of 22 in similar experiments. Mechanistically, five of the effective compounds (fendiline HCl, monensin sodium salt, vortioxetine, sertraline HCl, and salifungin) were found to block SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated cell fusion. These FDA-approved compounds can provide much needed therapeutic options that we urgently need during the midst of the pandemic.
Tsegay et al., A repurposed drug screen identifies compounds that inhibit the binding of the COVID-19 spike protein to ACE2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.04.08.439071
AbstractRepurposed drugs that block the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its receptor ACE2 could offer a rapid route to novel COVID-19 treatments or prophylactics. Here, we screened 2701 compounds from a commercial library of drugs approved by international regulatory agencies for their ability to inhibit the binding of recombinant, trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to recombinant human ACE2. We identified 56 compounds that inhibited binding by <90%, measured the EC50 of binding inhibition, and computationally modeled the docking of the best inhibitors to both Spike and ACE2. These results highlight an effective screening approach to identify compounds capable of disrupting the Spike-ACE2 interaction as well as identifying several potential inhibitors that could serve as templates for future drug discovery efforts.
Sokouti, B., A review on in silico virtual screening methods in COVID-19 using anticancer drugs and other natural/chemical inhibitors, Exploration of Targeted Anti-tumor Therapy, doi:10.37349/etat.2023.00177
The present coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic scenario has posed a difficulty for cancer treatment. Even under ideal conditions, malignancies like small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are challenging to treat because of their fast development and early metastases. The treatment of these patients must not be jeopardized, and they must be protected as much as possible from the continuous spread of the COVID-19 infection. Initially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the contagious coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Finding inhibitors against the druggable targets of SARS-CoV-2 has been a significant focus of research efforts across the globe. The primary motivation for using molecular modeling tools against SARS-CoV-2 was to identify candidates for use as therapeutic targets from a pharmacological database. In the published study, scientists used a combination of medication repurposing and virtual drug screening methodologies to target many structures of SARS-CoV-2. This virus plays an essential part in the maturation and replication of other viruses. In addition, the total binding free energy and molecular dynamics (MD) modeling findings showed that the dynamics of various medications and substances were stable; some of them have been tested experimentally against SARS-CoV-2. Different virtual screening (VS) methods have been discussed as potential means by which the evaluated medications that show strong binding to the active site might be repurposed for use against SARS-CoV-2.
Lou et al., Potential Target Discovery and Drug Repurposing for Coronaviruses: Study Involving a Knowledge Graph–Based Approach, Journal of Medical Internet Research, doi:10.2196/45225
Background The global pandemics of severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and COVID-19 have caused unprecedented crises for public health. Coronaviruses are constantly evolving, and it is unknown which new coronavirus will emerge and when the next coronavirus will sweep across the world. Knowledge graphs are expected to help discover the pathogenicity and transmission mechanism of viruses. Objective The aim of this study was to discover potential targets and candidate drugs to repurpose for coronaviruses through a knowledge graph–based approach. Methods We propose a computational and evidence-based knowledge discovery approach to identify potential targets and candidate drugs for coronaviruses from biomedical literature and well-known knowledge bases. To organize the semantic triples extracted automatically from biomedical literature, a semantic conversion model was designed. The literature knowledge was associated and integrated with existing drug and gene knowledge through semantic mapping, and the coronavirus knowledge graph (CovKG) was constructed. We adopted both the knowledge graph embedding model and the semantic reasoning mechanism to discover unrecorded mechanisms of drug action as well as potential targets and drug candidates. Furthermore, we have provided evidence-based support with a scoring and backtracking mechanism. Results The constructed CovKG contains 17,369,620 triples, of which 641,195 were extracted from biomedical literature, covering 13,065 concept unique identifiers, 209 semantic types, and 97 semantic relations of the Unified Medical Language System. Through multi-source knowledge integration, 475 drugs and 262 targets were mapped to existing knowledge, and 41 new drug mechanisms of action were found by semantic reasoning, which were not recorded in the existing knowledge base. Among the knowledge graph embedding models, TransR outperformed others (mean reciprocal rank=0.2510, Hits@10=0.3505). A total of 33 potential targets and 18 drug candidates were identified for coronaviruses. Among them, 7 novel drugs (ie, quinine, nelfinavir, ivermectin, asunaprevir, tylophorine, Artemisia annua extract, and resveratrol) and 3 highly ranked targets (ie, angiotensin converting enzyme 2, transmembrane serine protease 2, and M protein) were further discussed. Conclusions We showed the effectiveness of a knowledge graph–based approach in potential target discovery and drug repurposing for coronaviruses. Our approach can be extended to other viruses or diseases for biomedical knowledge discovery and relevant applications.
Touret et al., In vitro screening of a FDA approved chemical library reveals potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication, Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-70143-6
AbstractA novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, emerged in 2019 in China and rapidly spread worldwide. As no approved therapeutics exists to treat COVID-19, the disease associated to SARS-Cov-2, there is an urgent need to propose molecules that could quickly enter into clinics. Repurposing of approved drugs is a strategy that can bypass the time-consuming stages of drug development. In this study, we screened the PRESTWICK CHEMICAL LIBRARY composed of 1,520 approved drugs in an infected cell-based assay. The robustness of the screen was assessed by the identification of drugs that already demonstrated in vitro antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2. Thereby, 90 compounds were identified as positive hits from the screen and were grouped according to their chemical composition and their known therapeutic effect. Then EC50 and CC50 were determined for a subset of 15 compounds from a panel of 23 selected drugs covering the different groups. Eleven compounds such as macrolides antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, antiarrhythmic agents or CNS drugs emerged showing antiviral potency with 2 < EC50 ≤ 20 µM. By providing new information on molecules inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro, this study provides information for the selection of drugs to be further validated in vivo. Disclaimer: This study corresponds to the early stages of antiviral development and the results do not support by themselves the use of the selected drugs to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Girgis et al., Indole-Based Compounds as Potential Drug Candidates for SARS-CoV-2, Molecules, doi:10.3390/molecules28186603
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant threat to society in recent times, endangering human health, life, and economic well-being. The disease quickly spreads due to the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has undergone numerous mutations. Despite intense research efforts by the scientific community since its emergence in 2019, no effective therapeutics have been discovered yet. While some repurposed drugs have been used to control the global outbreak and save lives, none have proven universally effective, particularly for severely infected patients. Although the spread of the disease is generally under control, anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents are still needed to combat current and future infections. This study reviews some of the most promising repurposed drugs containing indolyl heterocycle, which is an essential scaffold of many alkaloids with diverse bio-properties in various biological fields. The study also discusses natural and synthetic indole-containing compounds with anti-SARS-CoV-2 properties and computer-aided drug design (in silico studies) for optimizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 hits/leads.
Pandit et al., e-Pharmacophore modeling and in silico study of CD147 receptor against SARS-CoV-2 drugs, Genomics & Informatics, doi:10.5808/gi.23005
Coronavirus has left severe health impacts on the human population, globally. Still a significant number of cases are reported daily as no specific medications are available for its effective treatment. The presence of the CD147 receptor (human basigin) on the host cell facilitates the severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Therefore, the drugs that efficiently alter the formation of CD147 and spike protein complex could be the right drug candidate to inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Hence, an e-Pharmacophore model was developed based on the receptor-ligand cavity of CD147 protein which was further mapped against pre-existing drugs of coronavirus disease treatment. A total of seven drugs were found to be suited as pharmacophores out of 11 drugs screened which was further docked with CD147 protein using CDOCKER of Biovia discovery studio. The active site sphere of the prepared protein was 101.44, 87.84, and 97.17 along with the radius being 15.33 and the root-mean-square deviation value obtained was 0.73 Å. The protein minimization energy was calculated to be –30,328.81547 kcal/mol. The docking results showed ritonavir as the best fit as it demonstrated a higher CDOCKER energy (–57.30) with correspond to CDOCKER interaction energy (–53.38). However, authors further suggest in vitro studies to understand the potential activity of the ritonavir.
Moura et al., Converging Paths: A Comprehensive Review of the Synergistic Approach between Complementary Medicines and Western Medicine in Addressing COVID-19 in 2020, BioMed, doi:10.3390/biomed3020025
The rapid spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic. Although specific vaccines are available and natural drugs are being researched, supportive care and specific treatments to alleviate symptoms and improve patient quality of life remain critical. Chinese medicine (CM) has been employed in China due to the similarities between the epidemiology, genomics, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. Moreover, the integration of other traditional oriental medical systems into the broader framework of integrative medicine can offer a powerful approach to managing the disease. Additionally, it has been reported that integrated medicine has better effects and does not increase adverse drug reactions in the context of COVID-19. This article examines preventive measures, potential infection mechanisms, and immune responses in Western medicine (WM), as well as the pathophysiology based on principles of complementary medicine (CM). The convergence between WM and CM approaches, such as the importance of maintaining a strong immune system and promoting preventive care measures, is also addressed. Current treatment options, traditional therapies, and classical prescriptions based on empirical knowledge are also explored, with individual patient circumstances taken into account. An analysis of the potential benefits and challenges associated with the integration of complementary and Western medicine (WM) in the treatment of COVID-19 can provide valuable guidance, enrichment, and empowerment for future research endeavors.
Fan et al., Pharmaceutical approaches for COVID-19: An update on current therapeutic opportunities, Acta Pharmaceutica, doi:10.2478/acph-2023-0014
Abstract SARS-CoV-2, a newly discovered coronavirus, has been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently an important public health issue. Despite all the work done to date around the world, there is still no viable treatment for COVID-19. This study examined the most recent evidence on the efficacy and safety of several therapeutic options available including natural substances, synthetic drugs and vaccines in the treatment of COVID-19. Various natural compounds such as sarsapogenin, lycorine, biscoclaurine, vitamin B12, glycyrrhizic acid, riboflavin, resveratrol and kaempferol, various vaccines and drugs such as AZD1222, mRNA-1273, BNT162b2, Sputnik V, and remdesivir, lopinavir, favipiravir, darunavir, oseltamivir, and umifenovir, resp., have been discussed comprehensively. We attempted to provide exhaustive information regarding the various prospective therapeutic approaches available in order to assist researchers and physicians in treating COVID-19 patients.
Gudima et al., Antiviral Therapy of COVID-19, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, doi:10.3390/ijms24108867
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific community has focused on prophylactic vaccine development. In parallel, the experience of the pharmacotherapy of this disease has increased. Due to the declining protective capacity of vaccines against new strains, as well as increased knowledge about the structure and biology of the pathogen, control of the disease has shifted to the focus of antiviral drug development over the past year. Clinical data on safety and efficacy of antivirals acting at various stages of the virus life cycle has been published. In this review, we summarize mechanisms and clinical efficacy of antiviral therapy of COVID-19 with drugs based on plasma of convalescents, monoclonal antibodies, interferons, fusion inhibitors, nucleoside analogs, and protease inhibitors. The current status of the drugs described is also summarized in relation to the official clinical guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19. In addition, here we describe innovative drugs whose antiviral effect is provided by antisense oligonucleotides targeting the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Analysis of laboratory and clinical data suggests that current antivirals successfully combat broad spectra of emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2 providing reliable defense against COVID-19.
Oliver et al., Different drug approaches to COVID-19 treatment worldwide: an update of new drugs and drugs repositioning to fight against the novel coronavirus, Therapeutic Advances in Vaccines and Immunotherapy, doi:10.1177/25151355221144845
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the second half of 2022, there are about 606 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 6,500,000 deaths around the world. A pandemic was declared by the WHO in March 2020 when the new coronavirus spread around the world. The short time between the first cases in Wuhan and the declaration of a pandemic initiated the search for ways to stop the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or to attempt to cure the disease COVID-19. More than ever, research groups are developing vaccines, drugs, and immunobiological compounds, and they are even trying to repurpose drugs in an increasing number of clinical trials. There are great expectations regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness for the prevention of COVID-19. However, producing sufficient doses of vaccines for the entire population and SARS-CoV-2 variants are challenges for pharmaceutical industries. On the contrary, efforts have been made to create different vaccines with different approaches so that they can be used by the entire population. Here, we summarize about 8162 clinical trials, showing a greater number of drug clinical trials in Europe and the United States and less clinical trials in low-income countries. Promising results about the use of new drugs and drug repositioning, monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, and mesenchymal stem cells to control viral infection/replication or the hyper-inflammatory response to the new coronavirus bring hope to treat the disease.
Ali et al., Computational Prediction of Nigella sativa Compounds as Potential Drug Agents for Targeting Spike Protein of SARS-CoV-2, Pakistan BioMedical Journal, doi:10.54393/pbmj.v6i3.853
SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has rapidly devastated worldwide. The lack of approved therapeutic drugs has intensified the global situation, so researchers are seeking potential treatments using regular drug agents and traditional herbs as well. Objectives: To identify new therapeutic agents from Nigella sativa against spike protein (PDB ID: 7BZ5) of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: The 46 compounds from N. sativa were docked with spike protein using Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) software and compared with commercially available anti-viral drugs e.g., Arbidol, Favipiravir, Remdesivir, Nelfinavir, Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine. The Molecular Dynamic Simulation (MDS) analysis was also applied to determine ligand-protein complex stability. Furthermore, the pharmacological properties of compounds were also analyzed using AdmetSAR and SwissADME. Results: Out of its total 46 ligands, 8 compounds i.e., Methyl stearate, Eicosadienoic acid, Oleic acid, Stearic acid, Linoleic acid, Myristoleic acid, Palmitic acid, and Farnesol were selected for further analysis based on their minimum binding energy ranges from -7.45 to -7.07 kcal/mol. The docking scores of N. sativa phytocompounds were similar to drugs taken as control. Moreover, post simulation analysis of Methyl stearate complex predicted the most stable conformer. Conclusions: Further, in-vivo experiments are suggested to validate the medicinal use of Methyl stearate as potential inhibitors against spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
Astasio-Picado et al., Therapeutic Targets in the Virological Mechanism and in the Hyperinflammatory Response of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Applied Sciences, doi:10.3390/app13074471
This work is a bibliographic review. The search for the necessary information was carried out in the months of November 2022 and January 2023. The databases used were as follows: Pubmed, Academic Google, Scielo, Scopus, and Cochrane library. Results: In total, 101 articles were selected after a review of 486 articles from databases and after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The update on the molecular mechanism of human coronavirus (HCoV) infection was reviewed, describing possible therapeutic targets in the viral response phase. There are different strategies to prevent or hinder the introduction of the viral particle, as well as the replicative mechanism ((protease inhibitors and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp)). The second phase of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) involves the activation of hyperinflammatory cascades of the host’s immune system. It is concluded that there are potential therapeutic targets and drugs under study in different proinflammatory pathways such as hydroxychloroquine, JAK inhibitors, interleukin 1 and 6 inhibitors, and interferons.
Gautam et al., Promising Repurposed Antiviral Molecules to Combat SARS-CoV-2: A Review, Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, doi:10.2174/1389201024666230302113110
Abstract: COVID-19, an extremely transmissible and pathogenic viral disease, triggered a global pandemic that claimed lives worldwide. To date, there is no clear and fully effective treatment for COVID-19 disease. Nevertheless, the urgency to discover treatments that can turn the tide has led to the development of a variety of preclinical drugs that are potential candidates for probative results. Although most of these supplementary drugs are constantly being tested in clinical trials against COVID-19, recognized organizations have aimed to outline the prospects in which their use could be considered. A narrative assessment of current articles on COVID-19 disease and its therapeutic regulation was performed. This review outlines the use of various potential treatments against SARS CoV-2, categorized as fusion inhibitors, protease inhibitors, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors, which include antiviral drugs such as Umifenovir, Baricitinib, Camostatmesylate, Nafamostatmesylate, Kaletra, Paxlovide, Darunavir, Atazanavir, Remdesivir, Molnupiravir, Favipiravir, and Ribavirin. To understand the virology of SARS-CoV-2, potential therapeutic approaches for the treatment of COVID-19 disease, synthetic methods of potent drug candidates, and their mechanisms of action have been addressed in this review. It intends to help readers approach the accessible statistics on the helpful treatment strategies for COVID-19 disease and to serve as a valuable resource for future research in this area.
Zhong et al., Recent advances in small-molecular therapeutics for COVID-19, Precision Clinical Medicine, doi:10.1093/pcmedi/pbac024
Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic poses a fundamental challenge to global health. Since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, great efforts have been made to identify antiviral strategies and develop therapeutic drugs to combat the disease. There are different strategies for developing small molecular anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs, including targeting coronavirus structural proteins (e.g. spike protein), non-structural proteins (nsp) (e.g. RdRp, Mpro, PLpro, helicase, nsp14, and nsp16), host proteases (e.g. TMPRSS2, cathepsin, and furin) and the pivotal proteins mediating endocytosis (e.g. PIKfyve), as well as developing endosome acidification agents and immune response modulators. Favipiravir and chloroquine are the anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents that were identified earlier in this epidemic and repurposed for COVID-19 clinical therapy based on these strategies. However, their efficacies are controversial. Currently, three small molecular anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents, remdesivir, molnupiravir, and Paxlovid (PF-07321332 plus ritonavir), have been granted emergency use authorization or approved for COVID-19 therapy in many countries due to their significant curative effects in phase III trials. Meanwhile, a large number of promising anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates have entered clinical evaluation. The development of these drugs brings hope for us to finally conquer COVID-19. In this account, we conducted a comprehensive review of the recent advances in small molecule anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents according to the target classification. Here we present all the approved drugs and most of the important drug candidates for each target, and discuss the challenges and perspectives for the future research and development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs.
Tsuji, M., Virtual Screening and Quantum Chemistry Analysis for SARS-CoV-2 RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase Using the ChEMBL Database: Reproduction of the Remdesivir-RTP and Favipiravir-RTP Binding Modes Obtained from Cryo-EM Experiments with High Binding Affinity, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, doi:10.3390/ijms231911009
The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the pathogenic cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of SARS-CoV-2 is a potential target for the treatment of COVID-19. An RdRp complex:dsRNA structure suitable for docking simulations was prepared using a cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure (PDB ID: 7AAP; resolution, 2.60 Å) that was reported recently. Structural refinement was performed using energy calculations. Structure-based virtual screening was performed using the ChEMBL database. Through 1,838,257 screenings, 249 drugs (37 approved, 93 clinical, and 119 preclinical drugs) were predicted to exhibit a high binding affinity for the RdRp complex:dsRNA. Nine nucleoside triphosphate analogs with anti-viral activity were included among these hit drugs, and among them, remdesivir-ribonucleoside triphosphate and favipiravir-ribonucleoside triphosphate adopted a similar docking mode as that observed in the cryo-EM structure. Additional docking simulations for the predicted compounds with high binding affinity for the RdRp complex:dsRNA suggested that 184 bioactive compounds could be anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates. The hit bioactive compounds mainly consisted of a typical noncovalent major groove binder for dsRNA. Three-layer ONIOM (MP2/6-31G:AM1:AMBER) geometry optimization calculations and frequency analyses (MP2/6-31G:AMBER) were performed to estimate the binding free energy of a representative bioactive compound obtained from the docking simulation, and the fragment molecular orbital calculation at the MP2/6-31G level of theory was subsequently performed for analyzing the detailed interactions. The procedure used in this study represents a possible strategy for discovering anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs from drug libraries that could significantly shorten the clinical development period for drug repositioning.
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