Transcription-based drug repurposing for COVID-19

Richard Killick, Clive Ballard, Patrick Doherty, Gareth Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We have utilised the transcriptional response of lung epithelial cells following infection by the original Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS) to identify repurposable drugs for COVID-19. Drugs best able to recapitulate the infection profile are highly enriched for antiviral activity. Nine of these have been tested against SARS-2 and found to potently antagonise SARS-2 infection/replication, with a number now being considered for clinical trials. It is hoped that this approach may serve to broaden the spectrum of approved drugs that should be further assessed as potential anti−COVID-19 agents and may help elucidate how this seemingly disparate collection of drugs are able to inhibit SARS-2 infection/replication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number198176
JournalVirus Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Gene expression
  • Repurposing


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