Human endeavor for anti-SARS-CoV-2 pharmacotherapy: A major strategy to fight the pandemic

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 137 (2021)

Keywords
Authors
  • Ruixuan Wang
  • Axe Molecular Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU Research Center and Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 4G2, Canada
  • Preyesh Stephen
  • Axe Molecular Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU Research Center and Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 4G2, Canada
  • Yi Tao
  • Axe Molecular Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU Research Center and Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 4G2, Canada
  • Wenfa Zhang
  • Axe Molecular Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU Research Center and Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 4G2, Canada
  • Sheng-Xiang Lin
  • Corresponding author.; Axe Molecular Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU Research Center and Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 4G2, Canada

Abstract

The global spread of COVID-19 constitutes the most dangerous pandemic to emerge during the last one hundred years. About seventy-nine million infections and more than 1.7 million death have been reported to date, along with destruction of the global economy.With the uncertainty evolved by alarming level of genome mutations, coupled with likelihood of generating only a short lived immune response by the vaccine injections, the identification of antiviral drugs for direct therapy is the need of the hour. Strategies to inhibit virus infection and replication focus on targets such as the spike protein and non-structural proteins including the highly conserved RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase, nucleotidyl-transferases, main protease and papain-like proteases. There is also an indirect option to target the host cell recognition systems such as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), transmembrane protease, serine 2, host cell expressed CD147, and the host furin. A drug search strategy consensus in tandem with analysis of currently available information is extremely important for the rapid identification of anti-viral.An unprecedented display of cooperation among the scientific community regarding SARS-CoV-2 research has resulted in the accumulation of an enormous amount of literature that requires curation. Drug repurposing and drug combinations have drawn tremendous attention for rapid therapeutic application, while high throughput screening and virtual searches support de novo drug identification. Here, we examine how certain approved drugs targeting different viruses can play a role in combating this new virus and analyze how they demonstrate efficacy under clinical assessment. Suggestions on repurposing and de novo strategies are proposed to facilitate the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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