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Ritonavir for COVID-19

Ritonavir has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Masoudi-Sobhanzadeh et al., Structure-based drug repurposing against COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases: methods, resources and discoveries, Briefings in Bioinformatics, doi:10.1093/bib/bbab113
AbstractTo attain promising pharmacotherapies, researchers have applied drug repurposing (DR) techniques to discover the candidate medicines to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Although many DR approaches have been introduced for treating different diseases, only structure-based DR (SBDR) methods can be employed as the first therapeutic option against the COVID-19 pandemic because they rely on the rudimentary information about the diseases such as the sequence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 genome. Hence, to try out new treatments for the disease, the first attempts have been made based on the SBDR methods which seem to be among the proper choices for discovering the potential medications against the emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Given the importance of SBDR approaches, in the present review, well-known SBDR methods are summarized, and their merits are investigated. Then, the databases and software applications, utilized for repurposing the drugs against COVID-19, are introduced. Besides, the identified drugs are categorized based on their targets. Finally, a comparison is made between the SBDR approaches and other DR methods, and some possible future directions are proposed.
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.
Malar et al., Network analysis-guided drug repurposing strategies targeting LPAR receptor in the interplay of COVID, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-024-55013-9
AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has greatly affected global health. Emerging evidence suggests a complex interplay between Alzheimer’s disease (AD), diabetes (DM), and COVID-19. Given COVID-19’s involvement in the increased risk of other diseases, there is an urgent need to identify novel targets and drugs to combat these interconnected health challenges. Lysophosphatidic acid receptors (LPARs), belonging to the G protein-coupled receptor family, have been implicated in various pathological conditions, including inflammation. In this regard, the study aimed to investigate the involvement of LPARs (specifically LPAR1, 3, 6) in the tri-directional relationship between AD, DM, and COVID-19 through network analysis, as well as explore the therapeutic potential of selected anti-AD, anti-DM drugs as LPAR, SPIKE antagonists. We used the Coremine Medical database to identify genes related to DM, AD, and COVID-19. Furthermore, STRING analysis was used to identify the interacting partners of LPAR1, LPAR3, and LPAR6. Additionally, a literature search revealed 78 drugs on the market or in clinical studies that were used for treating either AD or DM. We carried out docking analysis of these drugs against the LPAR1, LPAR3, and LPAR6. Furthermore, we modeled the LPAR1, LPAR3, and LPAR6 in a complex with the COVID-19 spike protein and performed a docking study of selected drugs with the LPAR-Spike complex. The analysis revealed 177 common genes implicated in AD, DM, and COVID-19. Protein–protein docking analysis demonstrated that LPAR (1,3 & 6) efficiently binds with the viral SPIKE protein, suggesting them as targets for viral infection. Furthermore, docking analysis of the anti-AD and anti-DM drugs against LPARs, SPIKE protein, and the LPARs-SPIKE complex revealed promising candidates, including lupron, neflamapimod, and nilotinib, stating the importance of drug repurposing in the drug discovery process. These drugs exhibited the ability to bind and inhibit the LPAR receptor activity and the SPIKE protein and interfere with LPAR-SPIKE protein interaction. Through a combined network and targeted-based therapeutic intervention approach, this study has identified several drugs that could be repurposed for treating COVID-19 due to their expected interference with LPAR(1, 3, and 6) and spike protein complexes. In addition, it can also be hypothesized that the co-administration of these identified drugs during COVID-19 infection may not only help mitigate the impact of the virus but also potentially contribute to the prevention or management of post-COVID complications related to AD and DM.
Katre et al., Review on development of potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (MPro), Future Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, doi:10.1186/s43094-022-00423-7
Abstract Background The etiological agent for the coronavirus illness outbreak in 2019–2020 is a novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19), whereas coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019 (COVID-19) has compelled the implementation of novel therapeutic options. Main body of the abstract There are currently no targeted therapeutic medicines for this condition, and effective treatment options are quite restricted; however, new therapeutic candidates targeting the viral replication cycle are being investigated. The primary protease of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus is a major target for therapeutic development (MPro). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) all seem to have a structurally conserved substrate-binding domain that can be used to develop novel protease inhibitors. Short conclusion With the recent publication of the X-ray crystal structure of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Mm, virtual and in vitro screening investigations to find MPro inhibitors are fast progressing. The focus of this review is on recent advancements in the quest for small-molecule inhibitors of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 main protease.
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.
Cavasotto et al., In silico Drug Repurposing for COVID‐19: Targeting SARS‐CoV‐2 Proteins through Docking and Consensus Ranking, Molecular Informatics, doi:10.1002/minf.202000115
AbstractIn December 2019, an infectious disease caused by the coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2 appeared in Wuhan, China. This disease (COVID‐19) spread rapidly worldwide, and on March 2020 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Today, over 21 million people have been infected, with more than 750.000 casualties. Today, no vaccine or antiviral drug is available. While the development of a vaccine might take at least a year, and for a novel drug, even longer; finding a new use to an old drug (drug repurposing) could be the most effective strategy. We present a docking‐based screening using a quantum mechanical scoring of a library built from approved drugs and compounds undergoing clinical trials, against three SARS‐CoV‐2 target proteins: the spike or S‐protein, and two proteases, the main protease and the papain‐like protease. The S‐protein binds directly to the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 receptor of the human host cell surface, while the two proteases process viral polyproteins. Following the analysis of our structure‐based compound screening, we propose several structurally diverse compounds (either FDA‐approved or in clinical trials) that could display antiviral activity against SARS‐CoV‐2. Clearly, these compounds should be further evaluated in experimental assays and clinical trials to confirm their actual activity against the disease. We hope that these findings may contribute to the rational drug design against COVID‐19.
Durdagi et al., Screening of Clinically Approved and Investigation Drugs as Potential Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease and Spike Receptor-Binding Domain Bound with ACE2 COVID19 Target Proteins: A Virtual Drug Repurposing Study, American Chemical Society (ACS), doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12032712.v2
In this virtual drug repurposing study, we used 7922 FDA approved drugs and compounds in clinical investigation from NPC database. Both apo and holo forms of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease as well as Spike Protein/ACE2 were used for virtual screening. Initially, docking was performed for these compounds at target binding sites. The compounds were then sorted according to their docking scores which represent binding energies. The first 100 compounds from each docking simulations were initially subjected to short (10 ns) MD simulations (in total 300 ligand-bound complexes), and average binding energies during MD simulations were calculated using the MM/GBSA method. Then, the selected promising hit compounds based on average MM/GBSA scores were used in long (100-ns and 500-ns) MD simulations. In total around 15 µs MD simulations were performed in this study. Both docking and MD simulations binding free energy calculations showed that holo form of the target protein is more appropriate choice for virtual drug screening studies. These numerical calculations have shown that the following 8 compounds can be considered as SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease inhibitors: Pimelautide, Rotigaptide, Telinavir, Ritonavir, Pinokalant, Terlakiren, Cefotiam and Cefpiramide. In addition, following 5 compounds were identified as potential SARS-CoV-2 ACE-2/Spike protein domain inhibitors: Denopamine, Bometolol, Naminterol, Rotigaptide and Benzquercin. These compounds can be clinically tested and if the simulation results validated, they may be considered to be used as treatment for COVID-19.
Mohapatra et al., Repurposing Therapeutics for COVID-19: Rapid Prediction of Commercially available drugs through Machine Learning and Docking, medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.04.05.20054254
ABSTRACTBackgroundThe outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread rapidly around the globe during the past 3 months. As the virus infected cases and mortality rate of this disease is increasing exponentially, scientists and researchers all over the world are relentlessly working to understand this new virus along with possible treatment regimens by discovering active therapeutic agents and vaccines. So, there is an urgent requirement of new and effective medications that can treat the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.Methods and findingsWe perform the study of drugs that are already available in the market and being used for other diseases to accelerate clinical recovery, in other words repurposing of existing drugs. The vast complexity in drug design and protocols regarding clinical trials often prohibit developing various new drug combinations for this epidemic disease in a limited time. Recently, remarkable improvements in computational power coupled with advancements in Machine Learning (ML) technology have been utilized to revolutionize the drug development process. Consequently, a detailed study using ML for the repurposing of therapeutic agents is urgently required. Here, we report the ML model based on the Naïve Bayes algorithm, which has an accuracy of around 73% to predict the drugs that could be used for the treatment of COVID-19. Our study predicts around ten FDA approved commercial drugs that can be used for repurposing. Among all, we suggest that the antiretroviral drug Atazanavir (DrugBank ID – DB01072) would probably be one of the most effective drugs based on the selected criterions.ConclusionsOur study can help clinical scientists in being more selective in identifying and testing the therapeutic agents for COVID-19 treatment. The ML based approach for drug discovery as reported here can be a futuristic smart drug designing strategy for community applications.Author summaryWhy was this study done?The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is now considered to be a pandemic threat to the global population. The new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV has now affected more than 200 countries with over 17,83,941 cases confirmed and 1,09,312 deaths reported all over the world [as on 12 April 2020].There is an urgent need for the development of drugs or vaccine which can save people worldwide. However, the vast complexity in drug design and protocols regarding clinical trials often prohibit developing various new drug combinations for this epidemic disease. Recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology have been utilized to revolutionize the drug development process. Can we use AI based repurposing of existing drugs for accelerated clinical trial in the treatment of COVID-19?What did the researchers do and find?Here, we report the Machine Learning (ML) model based on the Naïve Bayes algorithm, which has an accuracy of around 73% to predict the drugs that could be used for the..
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.
TAOFEEK, O., Molecular Docking and Admet Analyses of Photochemicals from Nigella sativa (blackseed), Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) and Anona muricata (Soursop) on SARS-CoV-2 Target, ScienceOpen, doi:10.14293/s2199-1006.1.sor-.ppknvfy.v1
The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused a global health challenge. The SARS-COV-2 main protease, 3CLpro/Mpro plays a critical role in the viral gene expression and replication and has been a major target for inhibiting viral maturation and enhancing host innate immune responses against COVID-19. In this study, we screened a library of 38 phytochemicals from Nigella sativa (blackseed), Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) and Anona muricata (Soursop) potent medicinal plants with reported antiviral properties - in a molecular docking protocol on 3CLpro using Autodock4.0 tool implanted in PyRx followed by docking validation and insilico absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicology (ADMET) evaluations. The docking results were visualized using Accelrys Discovery Studio and Pymol software. Among the 38 ligands screened, 19 showed significant interaction through non-covalent hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic, and electrostatic interactions with binding affinities from -5.3kcal/mol to -8.1kcal/mol indicating significant binding interactions at the active site binding pocket. Another important interaction observed in the study which mostly involve the transfer of charges was pi-interactions such as Pi-Pi interaction, Pi-Alkyl interaction, Pi-Sulfur interaction, Pi- Sigma, and Pi-Pi stacking. The docking results revealed that phytochemicals from T. foenum-graecum showed more 3CLpro inhibitory potential compared to those from N. sativa and A. muricata. Insilico ADMET evaluations for drug-like and lead-like characteristics however demonstrated that only 8 ligands - apigenin, kaempferol, luteolin, dithymoquinone, naringenine, nornuciferine, quercetin and nigellidine were actually drug-like; showed best activities against 3CLpro, and lack hepatotoxicity effects while none was lead-like. Insilico results of this study further suggested that drug repurposing candidates, remdesivir, indinavir,hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and ritonavir,exhibited various interactions with 3CLpro. Hence, further in vitro and in vivo studies are proposed.
Mushebenge et al., Assessing the Potential Contribution of In Silico Studies in Discovering Drug Candidates That Interact with Various SARS-CoV-2 Receptors, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, doi:10.3390/ijms242115518
The 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, and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). 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 the drug candidates to target receptors, providing insight into their potential efficacy. This study is aimed at assessing the useful contributions of the application of computational instruments in the discovery of receptors targeted in SARS-CoV-2. It further highlights some identified advantages and limitations of these studies, thereby revealing some complementary experimental validation to ensure the efficacy and safety of identified drug candidates.
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.
Tam et al., Targeting SARS-CoV-2 Non-Structural Proteins, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, doi:10.3390/ijms241613002
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an enveloped respiratory β coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), leading to a deadly pandemic that has claimed millions of lives worldwide. Like other coronaviruses, the SARS-CoV-2 genome also codes for non-structural proteins (NSPs). These NSPs are found within open reading frame 1a (ORF1a) and open reading frame 1ab (ORF1ab) of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and encode NSP1 to NSP11 and NSP12 to NSP16, respectively. This study aimed to collect the available literature regarding NSP inhibitors. In addition, we searched the natural product database looking for similar structures. The results showed that similar structures could be tested as potential inhibitors of the NSPs.
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.
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.
Onyango, O., In Silico Models for Anti-COVID-19 Drug Discovery: A Systematic Review, Advances in Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, doi:10.1155/2023/4562974
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe worldwide pandemic. Due to the emergence of various SARS-CoV-2 variants and the presence of only one Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-COVID-19 drug (remdesivir), the disease remains a mindboggling global public health problem. Developing anti-COVID-19 drug candidates that are effective against SARS-CoV-2 and its various variants is a pressing need that should be satisfied. This systematic review assesses the existing literature that used in silico models during the discovery procedure of anti-COVID-19 drugs. Cochrane Library, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and PubMed were used to conduct a literature search to find the relevant articles utilizing the search terms “In silico model,” “COVID-19,” “Anti-COVID-19 drug,” “Drug discovery,” “Computational drug designing,” and “Computer-aided drug design.” Studies published in English between 2019 and December 2022 were included in the systematic review. From the 1120 articles retrieved from the databases and reference lists, only 33 were included in the review after the removal of duplicates, screening, and eligibility assessment. Most of the articles are studies that use SARS-CoV-2 proteins as drug targets. Both ligand-based and structure-based methods were utilized to obtain lead anti-COVID-19 drug candidates. Sixteen articles also assessed absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity (ADMET), and drug-likeness properties. Confirmation of the inhibitory ability of the candidate leads by in vivo or in vitro assays was reported in only five articles. Virtual screening, molecular docking (MD), and molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) emerged as the most commonly utilized in silico models for anti-COVID-19 drug discovery.
Huang et al., DeepCoVDR: deep transfer learning with graph transformer and cross-attention for predicting COVID-19 drug response, Bioinformatics, doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btad244
Abstract Motivation The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains a global public health emergency. Although people, especially those with underlying health conditions, could benefit from several approved COVID-19 therapeutics, the development of effective antiviral COVID-19 drugs is still a very urgent problem. Accurate and robust drug response prediction to a new chemical compound is critical for discovering safe and effective COVID-19 therapeutics. Results In this study, we propose DeepCoVDR, a novel COVID-19 drug response prediction method based on deep transfer learning with graph transformer and cross-attention. First, we adopt a graph transformer and feed-forward neural network to mine the drug and cell line information. Then, we use a cross-attention module that calculates the interaction between the drug and cell line. After that, DeepCoVDR combines drug and cell line representation and their interaction features to predict drug response. To solve the problem of SARS-CoV-2 data scarcity, we apply transfer learning and use the SARS-CoV-2 dataset to fine-tune the model pretrained on the cancer dataset. The experiments of regression and classification show that DeepCoVDR outperforms baseline methods. We also evaluate DeepCoVDR on the cancer dataset, and the results indicate that our approach has high performance compared with other state-of-the-art methods. Moreover, we use DeepCoVDR to predict COVID-19 drugs from FDA-approved drugs and demonstrate the effectiveness of DeepCoVDR in identifying novel COVID-19 drugs. Availability and implementation https://github.com/Hhhzj-7/DeepCoVDR.
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.
Nayak et al., Prospects of Novel and Repurposed Immunomodulatory Drugs against Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Associated with COVID-19 Disease, Journal of Personalized Medicine, doi:10.3390/jpm13040664
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is intricately linked with SARS-CoV-2-associated disease severity and mortality, especially in patients with co-morbidities. Lung tissue injury caused as a consequence of ARDS leads to fluid build-up in the alveolar sacs, which in turn affects oxygen supply from the capillaries. ARDS is a result of a hyperinflammatory, non-specific local immune response (cytokine storm), which is aggravated as the virus evades and meddles with protective anti-viral innate immune responses. Treatment and management of ARDS remain a major challenge, first, because the condition develops as the virus keeps replicating and, therefore, immunomodulatory drugs are required to be used with caution. Second, the hyperinflammatory responses observed during ARDS are quite heterogeneous and dependent on the stage of the disease and the clinical history of the patients. In this review, we present different anti-rheumatic drugs, natural compounds, monoclonal antibodies, and RNA therapeutics and discuss their application in the management of ARDS. We also discuss on the suitability of each of these drug classes at different stages of the disease. In the last section, we discuss the potential applications of advanced computational approaches in identifying reliable drug targets and in screening out credible lead compounds against ARDS.
Talukdar et al., Potential Drugs for COVID -19 Treatment Management With Their Contraindications and Drug- Drug Interaction, MDPI AG, doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0690.v1
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV) causes inflammatory response with worsening symptoms. Classification of potential anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs in managing the symptoms of the COVID-19 and reducing morbidity is important. The objective of this study is to identify a group of drugs, best suited for COVID-19 treatment based on recent developments in clinical trials, FDA drug evaluation, directions and developments and from drug therapies globally. Online literature search was done on Medline, PubMed and google scholar databases for studies on various treatments and drug therapies for COVID-19 and relevant studies were identified and the identified drugs are described in detail as per their Pharmacological, pharmaceutical properties of the drugs, mechanism of action, current COVID-19 drug therapy, contraindications and drug-drug interactions Certain drugs can inhibit action against viral infection and protect lungs from severe inflammatory response. This article summarizes several drugs like Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Lopinavir, Ritonavir, Dexamethasone, Ivermectin, Baricitinib, Casirivimab / imdevimab, Bamlanivimab along with auxiliary treatment like convalescent plasma transfusion. Remdesivir is first drug approved by FDA. Hydroxychloroquine, dexamethasone and remdesivir are showing results against COVID-19 but it is important to test the efficacy and safety of such drugs though some drugs have shown remarkable results.
Guo et al., Enhanced compound-protein binding affinity prediction by representing protein multimodal information via a coevolutionary strategy, Briefings in Bioinformatics, doi:10.1093/bib/bbac628
Abstract Due to the lack of a method to efficiently represent the multimodal information of a protein, including its structure and sequence information, predicting compound-protein binding affinity (CPA) still suffers from low accuracy when applying machine-learning methods. To overcome this limitation, in a novel end-to-end architecture (named FeatNN), we develop a coevolutionary strategy to jointly represent the structure and sequence features of proteins and ultimately optimize the mathematical models for predicting CPA. Furthermore, from the perspective of data-driven approach, we proposed a rational method that can utilize both high- and low-quality databases to optimize the accuracy and generalization ability of FeatNN in CPA prediction tasks. Notably, we visually interpret the feature interaction process between sequence and structure in the rationally designed architecture. As a result, FeatNN considerably outperforms the state-of-the-art (SOTA) baseline in virtual drug evaluation tasks, indicating the feasibility of this approach for practical use. FeatNN provides an outstanding method for higher CPA prediction accuracy and better generalization ability by efficiently representing multimodal information of proteins via a coevolutionary strategy.
Mousavi et al., Novel Drug Design for Treatment of COVID-19: A Systematic Review of Preclinical Studies, Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, doi:10.1155/2022/2044282
Background. Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease outbreak, there has been an increasing interest in discovering potential therapeutic agents for this disease. In this regard, we conducted a systematic review through an overview of drug development (in silico, in vitro, and in vivo) for treating COVID-19. Methods. A systematic search was carried out in major databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, EMBASE, and Google Scholar from December 2019 to March 2021. A combination of the following terms was used: coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, drug design, drug development, In silico, In vitro, and In vivo. A narrative synthesis was performed as a qualitative method for the data synthesis of each outcome measure. Results. A total of 2168 articles were identified through searching databases. Finally, 315 studies (266 in silico, 34 in vitro, and 15 in vivo) were included. In studies with in silico approach, 98 article study repurposed drug and 91 studies evaluated herbal medicine on COVID-19. Among 260 drugs repurposed by the computational method, the best results were observed with saquinavir (n = 9), ritonavir (n = 8), and lopinavir (n = 6). Main protease (n = 154) following spike glycoprotein (n = 62) and other nonstructural protein of virus (n = 45) was among the most studied targets. Doxycycline, chlorpromazine, azithromycin, heparin, bepridil, and glycyrrhizic acid showed both in silico and in vitro inhibitory effects against SARS-CoV-2. Conclusion. The preclinical studies of novel drug design for COVID-19 focused on main protease and spike glycoprotein as targets for antiviral development. From evaluated structures, saquinavir, ritonavir, eucalyptus, Tinospora cordifolia, aloe, green tea, curcumin, pyrazole, and triazole derivatives in in silico studies and doxycycline, chlorpromazine, and heparin from in vitro and human monoclonal antibodies from in vivo studies showed promised results regarding efficacy. It seems that due to the nature of COVID-19 disease, finding some drugs with multitarget antiviral actions and anti-inflammatory potential is valuable and some herbal medicines have this potential.
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.
Loucera et al., Real-world evidence with a retrospective cohort of 15,968 Andalusian COVID-19 hospitalized patients suggests 21 new effective treatments and one drug that increases death risk., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2022.08.14.22278751
Despite the extensive vaccination campaigns in many countries, COVID-19 is still a major worldwide health problem because of its associated morbidity and mortality. Therefore, finding efficient treatments as fast as possible is a pressing need. Drug repurposing constitutes a convenient alternative when the need for new drugs in an unexpected medical scenario is urgent, as is the case with COVID-19. Using data from a central registry of electronic health records (the Andalusian Population Health Database, BPS), the effect of prior consumption of drugs for other indications previous to the hospitalization with respect to patient survival was studied on a retrospective cohort of 15,968 individuals, comprising all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Andalusia between January and November 2020. Covariate-adjusted hazard ratios and analysis of lymphocyte progression curves support a significant association between consumption of 21 different drugs and better patient survival. Contrarily, one drug, furosemide, displayed a significant increase in patient mortality.
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.
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