Exploring the SARS-CoV-2 virus-host-drug interactome for drug repurposing

Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 14;11(1):3518. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17189-2.


Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Various studies exist about the molecular mechanisms of viral infection. However, such information is spread across many publications and it is very time-consuming to integrate, and exploit. We develop CoVex, an interactive online platform for SARS-CoV-2 host interactome exploration and drug (target) identification. CoVex integrates virus-human protein interactions, human protein-protein interactions, and drug-target interactions. It allows visual exploration of the virus-host interactome and implements systems medicine algorithms for network-based prediction of drug candidates. Thus, CoVex is a resource to understand molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity and to prioritize candidate therapeutics. We investigate recent hypotheses on a systems biology level to explore mechanistic virus life cycle drivers, and to extract drug repurposing candidates. CoVex renders COVID-19 drug research systems-medicine-ready by giving the scientific community direct access to network medicine algorithms. It is available at https://exbio.wzw.tum.de/covex/.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • COVID-19
  • Computer Simulation
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Repositioning / methods*
  • Host Microbial Interactions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virus Attachment / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents