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Current Trends and Future Approaches in Small-Molecule Therapeutics for COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
PublishedAug 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has created a global public health emergency. The pandemic is causing substantial morbidity, mortality and significant economic loss. Currently, no approved treatments for COVID-19 are available, and it is likely to take at least 12-18 months to develop a new vaccine. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find new therapeutics that can be progressed to clinical development as soon as possible. Repurposing regulatory agencyapproved drugs and experimental drugs with known safety profiles can provide important repositories of compounds that can be fast-tracked to clinical development. Globally, over 500 clinical trials involving repurposed drugs have been registered, and over 150 have been initiated, including some backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This review is intended as a guide to research into small-molecule therapies to treat COVID-19; it discusses the SARS-CoV-2 infection cycle and identifies promising viral therapeutic targets, reports on a number of promising pre-approved small-molecule drugs with reference to over 150 clinical trials worldwide, and offers a perspective on the future of the field.

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