Using Existing Therapeutics Against COVID-19

Note: The products listed in this article are for biomedical research only. They are not for human or veterinary use.

Currently, there are no approved drugs to treat the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Existing drugs that have a known favorable safety profile are being examined for strategies to treat the disease and fast-track a treatment plan. The influenza drug favilavir (favipiravir; sold for research use only under the name T-705) has just been approved as an investigational therapy in the US, and the Ebola virus drug remdesivir is currently undergoing clinical trial in coronavirus patients in China. The rational selection of drugs already on the market is being made based on their ability to inhibit any proteins essential for virus-receptor interaction and/or viral life cycle.

Various potential targets for development of COVID-19 therapeutics exist along the stages from when a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus infects host cells and replicates. With little time available for drug testing and development, the repurposing of approved pharmaceutical drugs provides the most immediate solution for addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. Indeed, knowledge gained from the previous SARS outbreak has placed researchers in an advantageous position of better understanding solutions of how to address long-term treatment of this newly identified coronavirus.

Compound Mechanism Publications
Arbidol (Umifenovir) Viral membrane fusion inhibitor
Camostat Protease inhibitor
Chloroquine (CQ) / Hydoxychloroquine Zinc ionophore
GS-441524 Antiviral adenosine analog
Ivermectin IMPα/β1 inhibitor
MK-2206 AKT inhibitor
Lopinavir / Ritonavir (Kaletra, LPV/r) CYP enzyme inhibitor
Nafamostat Protease inhibitor
NHC, EIDD-1931 Antiviral ribonucleoside analog
Niclosamide Beclin-1 stabilizer
Nitazoxanide Antiviral
Penciclovir Antiviral guanosine analog
Remdesivir (GS-5734, RDV) Prodrug form of GS-441524
Ribavirin Antiviral guanosine analog
Spermidine Autophagy inducer
T-705 (Favipiravir) RdRP inhibitor
Zinc RdRP inhibitor

Photo Credit

Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAMS

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