Nearly 70 potential COVID-19 drug and experimental compound candidates identified

Given the speed and rapidity of spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, identifying already available compounds to use on patients has the promise of being able to quickly apply a treatment, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Techniques to identify compounds that might be effective based on molecular mechanisms can help provide candidate drugs for clinical trials.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Researchers have already started testing some of these compounds against laboratory-grown COVID-19 virus. GlobalData expects that the testing and identification of other drug candidates that can be repurposed for COVID-19 will continue as the situation unfolds, potentially resulting in a faster approved treatment for COVID-19.”

Researchers from the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) COVID-19 Research Group (QCRG) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and their collaborators have identified 69 potential COVID-19 drug candidates and experimental compounds by studying the genes of COVID-19 to determine its mechanism of infection of human cells. Of these candidates, 24 are already FDA approved to treat other indications. Repurposing these drugs could mean seeing faster results than by waiting on a novel drug discovery.

Swanson continued: “The researchers used a method of novel drug identification which involved an analysis of a systematic proteomic/chemoinformatic drug search combined with a pathway-centric analysis. The researchers examined 26 of the 29 genes that COVID-19 uses to produce viral proteins. From this, they identified 332 human protein targets. Some of the viral proteins target a single human protein, whereas others target up to 12 proteins. Researchers then identified 69 drugs that interact with the human proteins targeted by COVID-19 for viral replication in human cells.”

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