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Niclosamide for COVID-19

Niclosamide has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Jitobaom et al., Synergistic anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of repurposed anti-parasitic drug combinations, BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, doi:10.1186/s40360-022-00580-8
Abstract Background COVID-19 pandemic has claimed millions of lives and devastated the health service system, livelihood, and economy in many countries worldwide. Despite the vaccination programs in many countries, the spread of the pandemic continues, and effective treatment is still urgently needed. Although some antiviral drugs have been shown to be effective, they are not widely available. Repurposing of anti-parasitic drugs with in vitro anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity is a promising approach being tested in many clinical trials. Combination of these drugs is a plausible way to enhance their effectiveness. Methods The in vitro anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of combinations of niclosamide, ivermectin and chloroquine were evaluated in Vero E6 and lung epithelial cells, Calu-3. Results All the two-drug combinations showed higher potency resulting in up to 4-fold reduction in the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values compared to individual drugs. Among these combinations, niclosamide-ivermectin achieved the highest inhibitory level of over 99%. Combination synergy analysis showed niclosamide-ivermectin combination to have the best synergy score with a mean Loewe synergy score of 4.28 and a peak synergy score of 24.6 in Vero E6 cells and a mean Loewe synergy score of 3.82 and a peak synergy score of 10.86 in Calu-3 cells. Conclusions The present study demonstrated the benefit of drug combinations on anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. Niclosamide and ivermectin showed the best synergistic profile and should be further tested in clinical trials.
Jeon et al., Identification of Antiviral Drug Candidates against SARS-CoV-2 from FDA-Approved Drugs, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, doi:10.1128/AAC.00819-20
Drug repositioning is the only feasible option to immediately address the COVID-19 global challenge. We screened a panel of 48 FDA-approved drugs against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which were preselected by an assay of SARS-CoV. We identified 24 potential antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some drug candidates showed very low 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC 50 s), and in particular, two FDA-approved drugs—niclosamide and ciclesonide—were notable in some respects.
Mirabelli et al., Morphological cell profiling of SARS-CoV-2 infection identifies drug repurposing candidates for COVID-19, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.2105815118
The global spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the associated disease COVID-19, requires therapeutic interventions that can be rapidly identified and translated to clinical care. Traditional drug discovery methods have a >90% failure rate and can take 10 to 15 y from target identification to clinical use. In contrast, drug repurposing can significantly accelerate translation. We developed a quantitative high-throughput screen to identify efficacious agents against SARS-CoV-2. From a library of 1,425 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved compounds and clinical candidates, we identified 17 hits that inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection and analyzed their antiviral activity across multiple cell lines, including lymph node carcinoma of the prostate (LNCaP) cells and a physiologically relevant model of alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (iAEC2s). Additionally, we found that inhibitors of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway exacerbate SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Notably, we discovered that lactoferrin, a glycoprotein found in secretory fluids including mammalian milk, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in the nanomolar range in all cell models with multiple modes of action, including blockage of virus attachment to cellular heparan sulfate and enhancement of interferon responses. Given its safety profile, lactoferrin is a readily translatable therapeutic option for the management of COVID-19.
Patten et al., Identification of druggable host targets needed for SARS-CoV-2 infection by combined pharmacological evaluation and cellular network directed prioritization both in vitro and in vivo, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.04.20.440626
AbstractIdentification of host factors contributing to replication of viruses and resulting disease progression remains a promising approach for development of new therapeutics. Here, we evaluated 6710 clinical and preclinical compounds targeting 2183 host proteins by immunocytofluorescence-based screening to identify SARS-CoV-2 infection inhibitors. Computationally integrating relationships between small molecule structure, dose-response antiviral activity, host target and cell interactome networking produced cellular networks important for infection. This analysis revealed 389 small molecules, >12 scaffold classes and 813 host targets with micromolar to low nanomolar activities. From these classes, representatives were extensively evaluated for mechanism of action in stable and primary human cell models, and additionally against Beta and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants and MERS-CoV. One promising candidate, obatoclax, significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral lung load in mice. Ultimately, this work establishes a rigorous approach for future pharmacological and computational identification of novel host factor dependencies and treatments for viral diseases.
Mushebenge et al., Assessing the Potential Contribution of in Silico Studies in Discovering Drug Candidates that Interact with Various SARS-CoV-2 Receptors, MDPI AG, doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0434.v1
COVID-19 pandemic has spurred intense research efforts to identify effective treatments for SARS-CoV-2. In silico studies have emerged as a powerful tool in the drug discovery process, particularly in the search for drug candidates that interact with various SARS-CoV-2 receptors. These studies involve the use of computer simulations and computational algorithms to predict the potential interaction of drug candidates with target receptors. The primary receptors targeted by drug candidates include the RNA polymerase, main protease, spike protein, ACE2 receptor, TMPRSS2, and AP2-associated protein kinase 1. In silico studies have identified several promising drug candidates, including Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Ribavirin, Ivermectin, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, and Camostat mesylate, among others. The use of in silico studies offers several advantages, including the ability to screen a large number of drug candidates in a relatively short amount of time, thereby reducing the time and cost involved in traditional drug discovery methods. Additionally, in silico studies allow for the prediction of the binding affinity of drug candidates to target receptors, providing insight into their potential efficacy. However, it is crucial to consider both the advantages and limitations of these studies and to complement them with experimental validation to ensure the efficacy and safety of identified drug candidates.
Low et al., COVID-19 Therapeutic Potential of Natural Products, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, doi:10.3390/ijms24119589
Despite the fact that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment and management are now considerably regulated, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still one of the leading causes of death in 2022. The availability of COVID-19 vaccines, FDA-approved antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies in low-income countries still poses an issue to be addressed. Natural products, particularly traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) and medicinal plant extracts (or their active component), have challenged the dominance of drug repurposing and synthetic compound libraries in COVID-19 therapeutics. Their abundant resources and excellent antiviral performance make natural products a relatively cheap and readily available alternative for COVID-19 therapeutics. Here, we deliberately review the anti-SARS-CoV-2 mechanisms of the natural products, their potency (pharmacological profiles), and application strategies for COVID-19 intervention. In light of their advantages, this review is intended to acknowledge the potential of natural products as COVID-19 therapeutic candidates.
Wang et al., Inflammasomes: a rising star on the horizon of COVID-19 pathophysiology, Frontiers in Immunology, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2023.1185233
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a contagious respiratory virus that is the cause of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which has posed a serious threat to public health. COVID-19 is characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from asymptomatic infection to mild cold-like symptoms, severe pneumonia or even death. Inflammasomes are supramolecular signaling platforms that assemble in response to danger or microbial signals. Upon activation, inflammasomes mediate innate immune defense by favoring the release of proinflammatory cytokines and triggering pyroptotic cell death. Nevertheless, abnormalities in inflammasome functioning can result in a variety of human diseases such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. A growing body of evidence has showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection can induce inflammasome assembly. Dysregulated inflammasome activation and consequent cytokine burst have been associated with COVID-19 severity, alluding to the implication of inflammasomes in COVID-19 pathophysiology. Accordingly, an improved understanding of inflammasome-mediated inflammatory cascades in COVID-19 is essential to uncover the immunological mechanisms of COVID-19 pathology and identify effective therapeutic approaches for this devastating disease. In this review, we summarize the most recent findings on the interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and inflammasomes and the contribution of activated inflammasomes to COVID-19 progression. We dissect the mechanisms involving the inflammasome machinery in COVID-19 immunopathogenesis. In addition, we provide an overview of inflammasome-targeted therapies or antagonists that have potential clinical utility in COVID-19 treatment.
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.
Wang et al., Repurposing Drugs for the Treatment of COVID-19 and Its Cardiovascular Manifestations, Circulation Research, doi:10.1161/circresaha.122.321879
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 leading to the ongoing global pandemic. Infected patients developed a range of respiratory symptoms, including respiratory failure, as well as other extrapulmonary complications. Multiple comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic kidney diseases, are associated with the severity and increased mortality of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 infection also causes a range of cardiovascular complications, including myocarditis, myocardial injury, heart failure, arrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome, and venous thromboembolism. Although a variety of methods have been developed and many clinical trials have been launched for drug repositioning for COVID-19, treatments that consider cardiovascular manifestations and cardiovascular disease comorbidities specifically are limited. In this review, we summarize recent advances in drug repositioning for COVID-19, including experimental drug repositioning, high-throughput drug screening, omics data-based, and network medicine-based computational drug repositioning, with particular attention on those drug treatments that consider cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19. We discuss prospective opportunities and potential methods for repurposing drugs to treat cardiovascular complications of COVID-19.
Mostafa et al., FDA-Approved Drugs with Potent In Vitro Antiviral Activity against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Pharmaceuticals, doi:10.3390/ph13120443
(1) Background: Drug repositioning is an unconventional drug discovery approach to explore new therapeutic benefits of existing drugs. Currently, it emerges as a rapid avenue to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic disease. (2) Methods: Herein, we tested the antiviral activity of anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, commonly prescribed to relieve respiratory symptoms, against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the viral causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. (3) Results: Of these FDA-approved antimicrobial drugs, Azithromycin, Niclosamide, and Nitazoxanide showed a promising ability to hinder the replication of a SARS-CoV-2 isolate, with IC50 of 0.32, 0.16, and 1.29 µM, respectively. We provided evidence that several antihistamine and anti-inflammatory drugs could partially reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. Furthermore, this study showed that Azithromycin can selectively impair SARS-CoV-2 replication, but not the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). A virtual screening study illustrated that Azithromycin, Niclosamide, and Nitazoxanide bind to the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Protein data bank (PDB) ID: 6lu7) in binding mode similar to the reported co-crystalized ligand. Also, Niclosamide displayed hydrogen bond (HB) interaction with the key peptide moiety GLN: 493A of the spike glycoprotein active site. (4) Conclusions: The results suggest that Piroxicam should be prescribed in combination with Azithromycin for COVID-19 patients.
Wang et al., Screening Potential Drugs for COVID-19 Based on Bound Nuclear Norm Regularization, Frontiers in Genetics, doi:10.3389/fgene.2021.749256
The novel coronavirus pneumonia COVID-19 infected by SARS-CoV-2 has attracted worldwide attention. It is urgent to find effective therapeutic strategies for stopping COVID-19. In this study, a Bounded Nuclear Norm Regularization (BNNR) method is developed to predict anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates. First, three virus-drug association datasets are compiled. Second, a heterogeneous virus-drug network is constructed. Third, complete genomic sequences and Gaussian association profiles are integrated to compute virus similarities; chemical structures and Gaussian association profiles are integrated to calculate drug similarities. Fourth, a BNNR model based on kernel similarity (VDA-GBNNR) is proposed to predict possible anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. VDA-GBNNR is compared with four existing advanced methods under fivefold cross-validation. The results show that VDA-GBNNR computes better AUCs of 0.8965, 0.8562, and 0.8803 on the three datasets, respectively. There are 6 anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs overlapping in any two datasets, that is, remdesivir, favipiravir, ribavirin, mycophenolic acid, niclosamide, and mizoribine. Molecular dockings are conducted for the 6 small molecules and the junction of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. In particular, niclosamide and mizoribine show higher binding energy of −8.06 and −7.06 kcal/mol with the junction, respectively. G496 and K353 may be potential key residues between anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs and the interface junction. We hope that the predicted results can contribute to the treatment of COVID-19.
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.
Gassen et al., SARS-CoV-2-mediated dysregulation of metabolism and autophagy uncovers host-targeting antivirals, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24007-w
AbstractViruses manipulate cellular metabolism and macromolecule recycling processes like autophagy. Dysregulated metabolism might lead to excessive inflammatory and autoimmune responses as observed in severe and long COVID-19 patients. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 modulates cellular metabolism and reduces autophagy. Accordingly, compound-driven induction of autophagy limits SARS-CoV-2 propagation. In detail, SARS-CoV-2-infected cells show accumulation of key metabolites, activation of autophagy inhibitors (AKT1, SKP2) and reduction of proteins responsible for autophagy initiation (AMPK, TSC2, ULK1), membrane nucleation, and phagophore formation (BECN1, VPS34, ATG14), as well as autophagosome-lysosome fusion (BECN1, ATG14 oligomers). Consequently, phagophore-incorporated autophagy markers LC3B-II and P62 accumulate, which we confirm in a hamster model and lung samples of COVID-19 patients. Single-nucleus and single-cell sequencing of patient-derived lung and mucosal samples show differential transcriptional regulation of autophagy and immune genes depending on cell type, disease duration, and SARS-CoV-2 replication levels. Targeting of autophagic pathways by exogenous administration of the polyamines spermidine and spermine, the selective AKT1 inhibitor MK-2206, and the BECN1-stabilizing anthelmintic drug niclosamide inhibit SARS-CoV-2 propagation in vitro with IC50 values of 136.7, 7.67, 0.11, and 0.13 μM, respectively. Autophagy-inducing compounds reduce SARS-CoV-2 propagation in primary human lung cells and intestinal organoids emphasizing their potential as treatment options against COVID-19.
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