Identification of potential antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 using virtual screening method

Inform Med Unlocked. 2021;23:100531. doi: 10.1016/j.imu.2021.100531. Epub 2021 Feb 10.


SARS-CoV-2 has triggered a major epidemic among people around the world, and it is the newest in the sequence to become prevalent among other infectious diseases. The drug repurposing concept has been utilized effectively for numerous viral infections. Considering the situation and the urgency, the idea of drug repurposing for coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is also being studied. The molecular docking method was used for the screening of 29 antiviral drugs against primary protease proteins (MPP) of SARS-CoV-2, spike ecto-domain, spike receptor binding domain, Nsp9 RNA binding protein, and HR2 domain. Among these drugs, in terms of least binding energy, Indinavir, Sorivudine, Cidofovir, and Darunavir showed minimum docking scores with all the key proteins. For ADMET (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity) analysis, the ADMET properties of the top 4 drug candidates were retrieved through literature study. This analysis revealed that these drug candidates are well metabolized, distributed, and bioavailable, but have some undesirable effects. Furthermore, some approved structural analogues, such as Telbivudine, Tenofovir, Amprenavir, Fosamprenavir, etc., were predicted as similar drugs which may also be used for treating viral infections. We highly recommend these drug candidates as potential fighters against the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus, and suggest in vivo trials for experimental validation of our findings.

Keywords: Antivirals; Covid-19; Drug repurposing; Molecular docking; SARS-CoV-2.