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Leflunomide for COVID-19

Leflunomide has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Farag et al., Identification of FDA Approved Drugs Targeting COVID-19 Virus by Structure-Based Drug Repositioning, American Chemical Society (ACS), doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12003930.v1
The new strain of Coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2), and the resulting Covid-19 disease has spread swiftly across the globe after its initial detection in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, resulting in a pandemic status declaration by WHO within 3 months. Given the heavy toll of this pandemic, researchers are actively testing various strategies including new and repurposed drugs as well as vaccines. In the current brief report, we adopted a repositioning approach using insilico molecular modeling screening using FDA approved drugs with established safety profiles for potential inhibitory effects on Covid-19 virus. We started with structure based drug design by screening more than 2000 FDA approved drugsagainst Covid-19 virus main protease enzyme (Mpro) substrate-binding pocket to identify potential hits based on their binding energies, binding modes, interacting amino acids, and therapeutic indications. In addition, we elucidate preliminary pharmacophore features for candidates bound to Covid-19 virus Mpro substratebinding pocket. The top hits include anti-viral drugs such as Darunavir, Nelfinavirand Saquinavir, some of which are already being tested in Covid-19 patients. Interestingly, one of the most promising hits in our screen is the hypercholesterolemia drug Rosuvastatin. These results certainly do not confirm or indicate antiviral activity, but can rather be used as a starting point for further in vitro and in vivo testing, either individually or in combination.
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.
Jia et al., Transcriptome-based drug repositioning for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Pathogens and Disease, doi:10.1093/femspd/ftaa036
ABSTRACT The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) around the world has led to a pandemic with high morbidity and mortality. However, there are no effective drugs to prevent and treat the disease. Transcriptome-based drug repositioning, identifying new indications for old drugs, is a powerful tool for drug development. Using bronchoalveolar lavage fluid transcriptome data of COVID-19 patients, we found that the endocytosis and lysosome pathways are highly involved in the disease and that the regulation of genes involved in neutrophil degranulation was disrupted, suggesting an intense battle between SARS-CoV-2 and humans. Furthermore, we implemented a coexpression drug repositioning analysis, cogena, and identified two antiviral drugs (saquinavir and ribavirin) and several other candidate drugs (such as dinoprost, dipivefrine, dexamethasone and (-)-isoprenaline). Notably, the two antiviral drugs have also previously been identified using molecular docking methods, and ribavirin is a recommended drug in the diagnosis and treatment protocol for COVID pneumonia (trial version 5–7) published by the National Health Commission of the P.R. of China. Our study demonstrates the value of the cogena-based drug repositioning method for emerging infectious diseases, improves our understanding of SARS-CoV-2-induced disease, and provides potential drugs for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia.
Guo et al., Multi-omics in COVID-19: Driving development of therapeutics and vaccines, National Science Review, doi:10.1093/nsr/nwad161
Abstract The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has raised global concern for public health and the economy. The development of therapeutics and vaccines to combat this virus are continuously progressing. Multi-omics approaches, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, and metallomics, have helped understand the structural and molecular features of the virus, thereby assisting in the design of potential therapeutics and accelerating vaccine development for COVID-19. Here, we provide an up-to-date overview of the latest applications of multi-omics technologies in strategies addressing COVID-19, in order to provide suggestions towards the development of highly effective knowledge-based therapeutics and vaccines.
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.
Chevalier et al., CovAID: Identification of factors associated with severe COVID-19 in patients with inflammatory rheumatism or autoimmune diseases, Frontiers in Medicine, doi:10.3389/fmed.2023.1152587
IntroductionAutoimmune/inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIRDs) patients might be at-risk of severe COVID-19. However, whether this is linked to the disease or to its treatment is difficult to determine. This study aimed to identify factors associated with occurrence of severe COVID-19 in AIRD patients and to evaluate whether having an AIRD was associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 or death.Materials and methodsTwo databases were analyzed: the EDS (Entrepôt des Données de Santé, Clinical Data Warehouse), including all patients followed in Paris university hospitals and the French multi-center COVID-19 cohort [French rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMD)]. First, in a combined analysis we compared patients with severe and non-severe COVID-19 to identify factors associated with severity. Then, we performed a propensity matched score case–control study within the EDS database to compare AIRD cases and non-AIRD controls.ResultsAmong 1,213 patients, 195 (16.1%) experienced severe COVID-19. In multivariate analysis, older age, interstitial lung disease (ILD), arterial hypertension, obesity, sarcoidosis, vasculitis, auto-inflammatory diseases, and treatment with corticosteroids or rituximab were associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19. Among 35,741 COVID-19 patients in EDS, 316 having AIRDs were compared to 1,264 Propensity score-matched controls. AIRD patients had a higher risk of severe COVID-19 [aOR = 1.43 (1.08–1.87), p = 0.01] but analysis restricted to rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis found no increased risk of severe COVID-19 [aOR = 1.11 (0.68–1.81)].ConclusionIn this multicenter study, we confirmed that AIRD patients treated with rituximab or corticosteroids and/or having vasculitis, auto-inflammatory disease, and sarcoidosis had increased risk of severe COVID-19. Also, AIRD patients had, overall, an increased risk of severe COVID-19 compares general population.
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., Target-agnostic drug prediction integrated with medical record analysis uncovers differential associations of statins with increased survival in COVID-19 patients, PLOS Computational Biology, doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011050 (Table 2)
Drug repurposing requires distinguishing established drug class targets from novel molecule-specific mechanisms and rapidly derisking their therapeutic potential in a time-critical manner, particularly in a pandemic scenario. 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. However, it is unknown if different statins exhibit consistent function or may have varying therapeutic benefit. 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. Top drug predictions included statins, which were then assessed using electronic medical records containing over 4,000 COVID-19 patients on statins to determine mortality risk in patients prescribed specific statins versus untreated matched controls. The same drugs were tested in Vero E6 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 and human endothelial cells infected with a related OC43 coronavirus. Simvastatin was among the most highly predicted compounds (14/14 datasets) and five other statins, including atorvastatin, were predicted to be active in > 50% of analyses. 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. In vitro testing of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells revealed simvastatin to be a potent direct inhibitor whereas most other statins were less effective. Simvastatin also inhibited OC43 infection and reduced cytokine production in endothelial cells. Statins may differ in their ability to sustain the lives of COVID-19 patients despite having a shared drug target and lipid-modifying mechanism of action. These findings highlight the value of target-agnostic drug prediction coupled with patient databases to identify and clinically evaluate non-obvious mechanisms and derisk and accelerate drug repurposing opportunities.
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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