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Atovaquone for COVID-19

Atovaquone has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Pickard et al., Discovery of re-purposed drugs that slow SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells, PLOS Pathogens, doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1009840
COVID-19 vaccines based on the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 have been developed that appear to be largely successful in stopping infection. However, therapeutics that can help manage the disease are still required until immunity has been achieved globally. The identification of repurposed drugs that stop SARS-CoV-2 replication could have enormous utility in stemming the disease. Here, using a nano-luciferase tagged version of the virus (SARS-CoV-2-ΔOrf7a-NLuc) to quantitate viral load, we evaluated a range of human cell types for their ability to be infected and support replication of the virus, and performed a screen of 1971 FDA-approved drugs. Hepatocytes, kidney glomerulus, and proximal tubule cells were particularly effective in supporting SARS-CoV-2 replication, which is in-line with reported proteinuria and liver damage in patients with COVID-19. Using the nano-luciferase as a measure of virus replication we identified 35 drugs that reduced replication in Vero cells and human hepatocytes when treated prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection and found amodiaquine, atovaquone, bedaquiline, ebastine, LY2835219, manidipine, panobinostat, and vitamin D3 to be effective in slowing SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells when used to treat infected cells. In conclusion, our study has identified strong candidates for drug repurposing, which could prove powerful additions to the treatment of COVID.
Jain et al., Atovaquone for Treatment of COVID-19: A Prospective Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial, medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.05.24.22275411
ABSTRACTBackgroundAn in-silico screen was performed to identify FDA approved drugs that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), followed by in vitro viral replication assays, and in vivo pharmacokinetic studies in mice. These studies identified atovaquone as a promising candidate for inhibiting viral replication.MethodsA 2-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection. Enrolled patients were randomized 2:1 to atovaquone 1500 mg BID versus matched placebo. Patients received standard of care treatment including remdesivir, dexamethasone, or convalescent plasma as deemed necessary by the treating team. Saliva was collected at baseline and twice per day for up to 10 days for RNA extraction for SARS-CoV-2 viral load measurement by quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR. The primary outcome was the between group difference in log-transformed viral load (copies/mL) using a generalized linear mixed-effect models of repeated measures from all samples.ResultsOf the 61 patients enrolled; 41 received atovaquone and 19 received placebo. Overall, the population was predominately male (63%) and Hispanic (70%), with a mean age of 51 years, enrolled a mean of 5 days from symptom onset. The log10 viral load was 5.25 copies/mL vs. 4.79 copies/mL at baseline in the atovaquone vs. placebo group. Change in viral load did not differ over time between the atovaquone plus standard of care arm versus the placebo plus standard of care arm. Pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of atovaquone plasma concentration demonstrated a wide variation in atovaquone levels, with an inverse correlation between BMI and atovaquone levels, (Rho -0.45, p=0.02). In post hoc analysis, an inverse correlation was observed between atovaquone levels and viral load (Rho -0.54, p= 0.005).ConclusionIn this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, atovaquone did not demonstrate evidence of enhanced SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance compared with placebo. However, based on the observed inverse correlation between atovaquone levels and viral load, additional PK-guided studies may be warranted to examine the antiviral effect of atovaquone in COVID-19 (NCT04456153).
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.
Naz et al., Repurposing FIASMAs against Acid Sphingomyelinase for COVID-19: A Computational Molecular Docking and Dynamic Simulation Approach, Molecules, doi:10.3390/molecules28072989
Over the past few years, COVID-19 has caused widespread suffering worldwide. There is great research potential in this domain and it is also necessary. The main objective of this study was to identify potential inhibitors against acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) in order to prevent coronavirus infection. Experimental studies revealed that SARS-CoV-2 causes activation of the acid sphingomyelinase/ceramide pathway, which in turn facilitates the viral entry into the cells. The objective was to inhibit acid sphingomyelinase activity in order to prevent the cells from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Previous studies have reported functional inhibitors against ASM (FIASMAs). These inhibitors can be exploited to block the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into the cells. To achieve our objective, a drug library containing 257 functional inhibitors of ASM was constructed. Computational molecular docking was applied to dock the library against the target protein (PDB: 5I81). The potential binding site of the target protein was identified through structural alignment with the known binding pocket of a protein with a similar function. AutoDock Vina was used to carry out the docking steps. The docking results were analyzed and the inhibitors were screened based on their binding affinity scores and ADME properties. Among the 257 functional inhibitors, Dutasteride, Cepharanthine, and Zafirlukast presented the lowest binding affinity scores of −9.7, −9.6, and −9.5 kcal/mol, respectively. Furthermore, computational ADME analysis of these results revealed Cepharanthine and Zafirlukast to have non-toxic properties. To further validate these findings, the top two inhibitors in complex with the target protein were subjected to molecular dynamic simulations at 100 ns. The molecular interactions and stability of these compounds revealed that these inhibitors could be a promising tool for inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Pasla et al., In silico Drug Repurposing for the Identification of Antimalarial Drugs as Candidate Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2, Anti-Infective Agents, doi:10.2174/2211352519666211202141143
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory condition that has affected millions of people worldwide, indicating a global health emergency. Despite the deteriorating trends of COVID-19, no drugs are validated to have substantial efficacy in the potential treatment of COVID-19 patients in large-scale trials. Methods: This study aimed at identifying potential antimalarial candidate molecules for the treatment of COVID and evaluating the possible mechanism of action by in silico screening method. In silico screening studies on various antimalarial compounds, like amodiaquine, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, primaquine, and atovaquone, were conducted using PyRx and AutoDoc 1.5.6 tools against ACE 2 receptor, 3CL protease, hemagglutinin esterase, spike protein of SARS HR1 motif, and papain-like protease virus proteins. Results: Based on PyRx results, mefloquine and atovaquone were found to have higher docking affinity scores against virus proteins compared to other antimalarial compounds. Screening report of atovaquone exhibited affirmative inhibition constant for spike protein of SARS HR1 motif, 3CL protease, and papain-like protease. Conclusion: In silico analysis reported atovaquone as a promising candidate for COVID 19 therapy.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. 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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