ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0302.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: COVID-2019; SARS-CoV-2; 2019-nCoV; repositioning; UPR/Autophagy; real-world evidence; pathways
Online: 20 March 2020 (03:55:55 CET)
More than 179,000 individuals have fallen ill of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which first emerged in China less than four months ago in December 2019. As of today, there exist no approved treatments against COVID-19. Vaccines are being developed, but they will take time, at least one year, to reach the population. Drug repositioning represents a fast track because already approved medicines have been broadly tested through multiple trials. We developed a repositioning strategy that mostly leads to candidates that are commonly used. The advantages are that they will facilitate proof of concept in humans through a “real-world evidence” approach and should be rapidly available to the population. We focus on the established research results that the unfolded protein response (UPR) and autophagy pathways of the host cells are essential to the life cycle of previously known coronaviruses. We performed the relevant bioinformatics analysis to understand and confirm if SARS-CoV-2 may interact with these druggable pathways. Based on these considerations, we prioritized two additional druggable pathways, which are important to the viral life cycle and tightly connected to UPR/autophagy signaling: the mitochondrial permeability transition pores (MPTP) and NLRP-3 inflammasome pathways. These four important pathways are perturbed in most major common diseases and have therefore been targeted by numerous broadly prescribed drugs. We have identified 97 approved drugs that are known to modulate these four identified pathways, and which represent, therefore, interesting repositioning candidates. Although it is indisputable that these drugs should never be used for immediate self-medication against COVID-19, we notice that some of them could also be prescribed to individuals who have COVID-19 comorbidities (e.g., hypertension). It is debated if these comorbidities are linked to the pathology itself (e.g., hypertension) or the drugs used to treat the pathology (e.g., sartans). Therefore, relevant preclinical tests and massive electronic health records (i.e., real-world evidence) must be used to pre-screen them and check the COVID-19 prognosis of individuals taking these drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0286.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacy Keywords: COVID-2019; SARS-CoV-2; repurposing; network bioinformatics
Online: 18 March 2020 (08:50:10 CET)
The COVID-2019 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (aka 2019-nCoV) has raised significant health concerns in China and worldwide. While novel drug discovery and vaccine studies are long, repurposing old drugs against the COVID-2019 epidemic can help identify treatments, with known preclinical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and toxicity profiles, which can rapidly enter Phase 3 or 4 or can be used directly in clinical settings. In this study, we presented a novel network based drug repurposing platform to identify potential drugs for the treatment of COVID-2019. We first analysed the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and identified SARS as the closest disease, based on genome similarity between both causal viruses, followed by MERS and other human coronavirus diseases. Using our AutoSeed pipeline (text mining and database searches), we obtained 34 COVID-2019-related genes. Taking those genes as seeds, we automatically built a molecular network for which our module detection and drug prioritization algorithms identified 24 disease-related human pathways, five modules and finally suggested 78 drugs to repurpose. Following manual filtering based on clinical knowledge, we re-prioritized 30 potential repurposable drugs against COVID-2019 (including pseudoephedrine, andrographolide, chloroquine, abacavir, and thalidomide) . We hope that this data can provide critical insights into SARS-CoV-2 biology and help design rapid clinical trials of treatments against COVID-2019.