Challenges for Drug Repurposing in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era

Front Pharmacol. 2020 Nov 6;11:588654. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.588654. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected an estimated 16 million persons and caused 0.6 million deaths worldwide by September 2020. The pandemic has led to a rush to repurpose existing drugs, although the underlying evidence base is of variable quality. The improving knowledge of the virology and clinical presentation of COVID-19 is leading to a broadening pool of potential pharmacological targets. The aim of this review is to describe regulatory and pharmacological aspects of drug repurposing and to identify drugs proposed for repurposing in COVID-19 based on registered clinical trials, discussing the evidence to support their use in the treatment of this disease. The challenges of the correct interpretation of existing pre-clinical/clinical evidence as well as the generation of new evidence concerning drug repurposing in COVID-19 will also be discussed. Clinical Trial Registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT04321174, NCT04342663, NCT04280705, NCT04244591, NCT04359329, NCT04348695, NCT04304313, NCT043505931.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; drug repositioning; drug repurposing; pandemic.

Publication types

  • Review

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04244591
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04280705
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04304313
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04348695
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04359329
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04342663
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04321174