Coronavirus Antiviral Research Database (CoV-RDB): An Online Database Designed to Facilitate Comparisons between Candidate Anti-Coronavirus Compounds

Viruses. 2020 Sep 9;12(9):1006. doi: 10.3390/v12091006.


Background: To prioritize the development of antiviral compounds, it is necessary to compare their relative preclinical activity and clinical efficacy.

Methods: We reviewed in vitro, animal model, and clinical studies of candidate anti-coronavirus compounds and placed extracted data in an online relational database.

Results: As of August 2020, the Coronavirus Antiviral Research Database (CoV-RDB; contained over 2800 cell culture, entry assay, and biochemical experiments, 259 animal model studies, and 73 clinical studies from over 400 published papers. SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV account for 85% of the data. Approximately 75% of experiments involved compounds with known or likely mechanisms of action, including monoclonal antibodies and receptor binding inhibitors (21%), viral protease inhibitors (17%), miscellaneous host-acting inhibitors (10%), polymerase inhibitors (9%), interferons (7%), fusion inhibitors (5%), and host protease inhibitors (5%). Of 975 compounds with known or likely mechanism, 135 (14%) are licensed in the U.S. for other indications, 197 (20%) are licensed outside the U.S. or are in human trials, and 595 (61%) are pre-clinical investigational compounds.

Conclusion: CoV-RDB facilitates comparisons between different candidate antiviral compounds, thereby helping scientists, clinical investigators, public health officials, and funding agencies prioritize the most promising compounds and repurposed drugs for further development.

Keywords: COVID-19; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; antiviral therapy; coronavirus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronavirus / drug effects
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Mammals
  • Models, Animal
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Registries
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Species Specificity
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Antiviral Agents