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Atorvastatin for COVID-19

Atorvastatin has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Segatori et al., Effect of Ivermectin and Atorvastatin on Nuclear Localization of Importin Alpha and Drug Target Expression Profiling in Host Cells from Nasopharyngeal Swabs of SARS-CoV-2- Positive Patients, Viruses, doi:10.3390/v13102084
Nuclear transport and vesicle trafficking are key cellular functions involved in the pathogenesis of RNA viruses. Among other pleiotropic effects on virus-infected host cells, ivermectin (IVM) inhibits nuclear transport mechanisms mediated by importins and atorvastatin (ATV) affects actin cytoskeleton-dependent trafficking controlled by Rho GTPases signaling. In this work, we first analyzed the response to infection in nasopharyngeal swabs from SARS-CoV-2-positive and -negative patients by assessing the gene expression of the respective host cell drug targets importins and Rho GTPases. COVID-19 patients showed alterations in KPNA3, KPNA5, KPNA7, KPNB1, RHOA, and CDC42 expression compared with non-COVID-19 patients. An in vitro model of infection with Poly(I:C), a synthetic analog of viral double-stranded RNA, triggered NF-κB activation, an effect that was halted by IVM and ATV treatment. Importin and Rho GTPases gene expression was also impaired by these drugs. Furthermore, through confocal microscopy, we analyzed the effects of IVM and ATV on nuclear to cytoplasmic importin α distribution, alone or in combination. Results showed a significant inhibition of importin α nuclear accumulation under IVM and ATV treatments. These findings confirm transcriptional alterations in importins and Rho GTPases upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and point to IVM and ATV as valid drugs to impair nuclear localization of importin α when used at clinically-relevant concentrations.
Duarte et al., Identifying FDA-approved drugs with multimodal properties against COVID-19 using a data-driven approach and a lung organoid model of SARS-CoV-2 entry, Molecular Medicine, doi:10.1186/s10020-021-00356-6
Abstract Background Vaccination programs have been launched worldwide to halt the spread of COVID-19. However, the identification of existing, safe compounds with combined treatment and prophylactic properties would be beneficial to individuals who are waiting to be vaccinated, particularly in less economically developed countries, where vaccine availability may be initially limited. Methods We used a data-driven approach, combining results from the screening of a large transcriptomic database (L1000) and molecular docking analyses, with in vitro tests using a lung organoid model of SARS-CoV-2 entry, to identify drugs with putative multimodal properties against COVID-19. Results Out of thousands of FDA-approved drugs considered, we observed that atorvastatin was the most promising candidate, as its effects negatively correlated with the transcriptional changes associated with infection. Atorvastatin was further predicted to bind to SARS-CoV-2’s main protease and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and was shown to inhibit viral entry in our lung organoid model. Conclusions Small clinical studies reported that general statin use, and specifically, atorvastatin use, are associated with protective effects against COVID-19. Our study corroborrates these findings and supports the investigation of atorvastatin in larger clinical studies. Ultimately, our framework demonstrates one promising way to fast-track the identification of compounds for COVID-19, which could similarly be applied when tackling future pandemics.
Taguchi et al., A New Advanced In Silico Drug Discovery Method for Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) with Tensor Decomposition-Based Unsupervised Feature Extraction, MDPI AG, doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0524.v1
Background: COVID-19 is a critical pandemic that has affected human communities worldwide. Although it is urgent to rapidly develop effective drugs, large number of candidate drug compounds may be useful for treating COVID-19, and evaluation of these drugs is time-consuming and costly. Thus, screening to identify potentially effective drugs prior to experimental validation is necessary. Method: In this study, we applied the recently proposed method tensor decomposition (TD)-based unsupervised feature extraction (FE) to gene expression profiles of multiple lung cancer cell lines infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We identified drug candidate compounds that significantly altered the expression of the 163 genes selected by TD-based unsupervised FE. Results: Numerous drugs were successfully screened, including many known antiviral drug compounds. Conclusions: The drugs screened using our strategy may be effective candidates for treating patients with COVID-19.
Gysi et al., Network Medicine Framework for Identifying Drug Repurposing Opportunities for COVID-19, arXiv, doi:10.48550/arXiv.2004.07229
The current pandemic has highlighted the need for methodologies that can quickly and reliably prioritize clinically approved compounds for their potential effectiveness for SARS-CoV-2 infections. In the past decade, network medicine has developed and validated multiple predictive algorithms for drug repurposing, exploiting the sub-cellular network-based relationship between a drug's targets and disease genes. Here, we deployed algorithms relying on artificial intelligence, network diffusion, and network proximity, tasking each of them to rank 6,340 drugs for their expected efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. To test the predictions, we used as ground truth 918 drugs that had been experimentally screened in VeroE6 cells, and the list of drugs under clinical trial, that capture the medical community's assessment of drugs with potential COVID-19 efficacy. We find that while most algorithms offer predictive power for these ground truth data, no single method offers consistently reliable outcomes across all datasets and metrics. This prompted us to develop a multimodal approach that fuses the predictions of all algorithms, showing that a consensus among the different predictive methods consistently exceeds the performance of the best individual pipelines. We find that 76 of the 77 drugs that successfully reduced viral infection do not bind the proteins targeted by SARS-CoV-2, indicating that these drugs rely on network-based actions that cannot be identified using docking-based strategies. These advances offer a methodological pathway to identify repurposable drugs for future pathogens and neglected diseases underserved by the costs and extended timeline of de novo drug development.
Chau et al., Organoids in COVID-19: can we break the glass ceiling?, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, doi:10.1093/jleuko/qiad098
Abstract COVID-19 emerged in September 2020 as a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. The disease presented as pneumonia at first but later was shown to cause multisystem infections and long-term complications. Many efforts have been put into discovering the exact pathogenesis of the disease. In this review, we aim to discuss an emerging tool in disease modeling, organoids, in the investigation of COVID-19. This review will introduce some methods and breakthroughs achieved by organoids and the limitations of this system.
Cesar-Silva et al., Lipid compartments and lipid metabolism as therapeutic targets against coronavirus, Frontiers in Immunology, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2023.1268854
Lipids perform a series of cellular functions, establishing cell and organelles’ boundaries, organizing signaling platforms, and creating compartments where specific reactions occur. Moreover, lipids store energy and act as secondary messengers whose distribution is tightly regulated. Disruption of lipid metabolism is associated with many diseases, including those caused by viruses. In this scenario, lipids can favor virus replication and are not solely used as pathogens’ energy source. In contrast, cells can counteract viruses using lipids as weapons. In this review, we discuss the available data on how coronaviruses profit from cellular lipid compartments and why targeting lipid metabolism may be a powerful strategy to fight these cellular parasites. We also provide a formidable collection of data on the pharmacological approaches targeting lipid metabolism to impair and treat coronavirus infection.
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.
Chen et al., Metabolic alterations upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and potential therapeutic targets against coronavirus infection, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, doi:10.1038/s41392-023-01510-8
AbstractThe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection has become a global pandemic due to the high viral transmissibility and pathogenesis, bringing enormous burden to our society. Most patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Although only a small proportion of patients progressed to severe COVID-19 with symptoms including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), disseminated coagulopathy, and cardiovascular disorders, severe COVID-19 is accompanied by high mortality rates with near 7 million deaths. Nowadays, effective therapeutic patterns for severe COVID-19 are still lacking. It has been extensively reported that host metabolism plays essential roles in various physiological processes during virus infection. Many viruses manipulate host metabolism to avoid immunity, facilitate their own replication, or to initiate pathological response. Targeting the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host metabolism holds promise for developing therapeutic strategies. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent studies dedicated to uncovering the role of host metabolism during the life cycle of SARS-CoV-2 in aspects of entry, replication, assembly, and pathogenesis with an emphasis on glucose metabolism and lipid metabolism. Microbiota and long COVID-19 are also discussed. Ultimately, we recapitulate metabolism-modulating drugs repurposed for COVID-19 including statins, ASM inhibitors, NSAIDs, Montelukast, omega-3 fatty acids, 2-DG, and metformin.
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.
Risner et al., Maraviroc inhibits SARS-CoV-2 multiplication and s-protein mediated cell fusion in cell culture, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.08.12.246389
In an effort to identify therapeutic intervention strategies for the treatment of COVID-19, we have investigated a selection of FDA-approved small molecules and biologics that are commonly used to treat other human diseases. A investigation into 18 small molecules and 3 biologics was conducted in cell culture and the impact of treatment on viral titer was quantified by plaque assay. The investigation identified 4 FDA approved small molecules, Maraviroc, FTY720 (Fingolimod), Atorvastatin and Nitazoxanide that were able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Confocal microscopy with over expressed S-protein demonstrated that Maraviroc reduced the extent of S-protein mediated cell fusion as observed by fewer multinucleate cells in the context of drug-treatment. Mathematical modeling of drug-dependent viral multiplication dynamics revealed that prolonged drug treatment will exert an exponential decrease in viral load in a multicellular/tissue environment. Taken together, the data demonstrate that Maraviroc, Fingolimod, Atorvastatin and Nitazoxanide inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture.
Tomazou et al., Multi-omics data integration and network-based analysis drives a multiplex drug repurposing approach to a shortlist of candidate drugs against COVID-19, Briefings in Bioinformatics, doi:10.1093/bib/bbab114
Abstract The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is undeniably the most severe global health emergency since the 1918 Influenza outbreak. Depending on its evolutionary trajectory, the virus is expected to establish itself as an endemic infectious respiratory disease exhibiting seasonal flare-ups. Therefore, despite the unprecedented rally to reach a vaccine that can offer widespread immunization, it is equally important to reach effective prevention and treatment regimens for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Contributing to this effort, we have curated and analyzed multi-source and multi-omics publicly available data from patients, cell lines and databases in order to fuel a multiplex computational drug repurposing approach. We devised a network-based integration of multi-omic data to prioritize the most important genes related to COVID-19 and subsequently re-rank the identified candidate drugs. Our approach resulted in a highly informed integrated drug shortlist by combining structural diversity filtering along with experts’ curation and drug–target mapping on the depicted molecular pathways. In addition to the recently proposed drugs that are already generating promising results such as dexamethasone and remdesivir, our list includes inhibitors of Src tyrosine kinase (bosutinib, dasatinib, cytarabine and saracatinib), which appear to be involved in multiple COVID-19 pathophysiological mechanisms. In addition, we highlight specific immunomodulators and anti-inflammatory drugs like dactolisib and methotrexate and inhibitors of histone deacetylase like hydroquinone and vorinostat with potential beneficial effects in their mechanisms of action. Overall, this multiplex drug repurposing approach, developed and utilized herein specifically for SARS-CoV-2, can offer a rapid mapping and drug prioritization against any pathogen-related disease.
Sperry et al., Different HMGCR-inhibiting statins vary in their association with increased survival in patients with COVID-19, medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.04.12.22273802
Background In response to the challenge to rapidly identify treatment options for COVID-19, several studies reported that statins, as a drug class, reduce mortality in these patients. Here we explored the possibility that different statins might differ in their ability to exert protective effects based on computational predictions. Methods A Bayesian network tool was used to predict drugs that shift the host transcriptomic response to SARS-CoV-2 infection towards a healthy state. Drugs were predicted using 14 RNA-sequencing datasets from 72 autopsy tissues and 465 COVID-19 patient samples or from cultured human cells and organoids infected with SARS-CoV-2, with a total of 2,436 drugs investigated. Top drug predictions included statins, which were tested in Vero E6 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 and human endothelial cells infected with a related OC43 coronavirus. A database containing over 4,000 COVID-19 patients on statins was also analyzed to determine mortality risk in patients prescribed specific statins versus untreated matched controls. Findings Simvastatin was among the most highly predicted compounds (14/14 datasets) and five other statins were predicted to be active in > 50% of analyses. In vitro testing of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells revealed simvastatin to be a potent inhibitor whereas most other statins were less effective. Simvastatin also inhibited OC43 infection and reduced cytokine production in endothelial cells. Analysis of the clinical database revealed that reduced mortality risk was only observed in COVID-19 patients prescribed a subset of statins, including simvastatin and atorvastatin. Interpretation Different statins may differ in their ability to sustain the lives of COVID-19 patients despite having a shared target and lipid-modifying mechanism of action. These findings highlight the value of target-agnostic drug prediction coupled with patient databases to identify and validate non-obvious mechanisms and drug repurposing opportunities. Funding DARPA, Wyss Institute, Hess Research Fund, UCSF Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research, and NIH
MacFadden et al., Screening Large Population Health Databases for Potential COVID-19 Therapeutics: A Pharmacopeia-Wide Association Study (PWAS) of Commonly Prescribed Medications, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1093/ofid/ofac156
Abstract Background For both the current and future pandemics, there is a need for high-throughput drug screening methods to identify existing drugs with potential preventative and/or therapeutic activity. Epidemiologic studies could complement lab-focused efforts to identify possible therapeutic agents. Methods We performed a pharmacopeia-wide association study (PWAS) to identify commonly prescribed medications and medication classes that are associated with the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in older individuals (>65 years) in long-term care homes (LTCH) and the community, between January 15 th, 2020 and December 31 st, 2020, across the province of Ontario, Canada. Results 26,121 cases and 2,369,020 controls from LTCH and the community were included in this analysis. Many of the drugs and drug classes evaluated did not yield significant associations with SARS-CoV-2 detection. However, some drugs and drug classes appeared significantly associated with reduced SARS-CoV-2 detection, including cardioprotective drug classes such as statins (weighted OR 0.91, standard p-value <0.01, adjusted p-value <0.01) and beta-blockers (weighted OR 0.87, standard p-value <0.01, adjusted p-value 0.01), along with individual agents ranging from levetiracetam (weighted OR 0.70, standard p-value <0.01, adjusted p-value <0.01) to fluoxetine (weighted OR 0.86, standard p-value 0.013, adjusted p-value 0.198) to digoxin (weighted OR 0.89, standard p-value <0.01, adjusted p-value 0.02). Conclusions Using this epidemiologic approach which can be applied to current and future pandemics we have identified a variety of target drugs and drug classes that could offer therapeutic benefit in COVID-19 and may warrant further validation. Some of these agents (e.g. fluoxetine) have already been identified for their therapeutic potential.
Issac et al., Improved And Optimized Drug Repurposing For The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.03.24.485618
The active global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic caused more than 426 million cases and 5.8 million deaths worldwide. The development of completely new drugs for such a novel disease is a challenging, time intensive process. Despite researchers around the world working on this task, no effective treatments have been developed yet. This emphasizes the importance of drug repurposing, where treatments are found among existing drugs that are meant for different diseases. A common approach to this is based on \emph{knowledge graphs}, that condense relationships between entities like drugs, diseases and genes. Graph neural networks (GNNs) can then be used for the task at hand by predicting links in such knowledge graphs. Expanding on state-of-the-art GNN research, Doshi {\sl et al.} recently developed the \drcov \ model. We further extend their work using additional output interpretation strategies. The best aggregation strategy derives a top-100 ranking of 8,070 candidate drugs, 32 of which are currently being tested in COVID-19-related clinical trials. Moreover, we present an alternative application for the model, the generation of additional candidates based on a given pre-selection of drug candidates using collaborative filtering. In addition, we improved the implementation of the \drcov \ model by significantly shortening the inference and pre-processing time by exploiting data-parallelism. As drug repurposing is a task that requires high computation and memory resources, we further accelerate the post-processing phase using a new emerging hardware --- we propose a new approach to leverage the use of high-capacity Non-Volatile Memory for aggregate drug ranking.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. c19early involves the extraction of 100,000+ datapoints from thousands of papers. Community updates help ensure high accuracy. Vaccines and treatments are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment, vaccine, or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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