ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1727.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: Bisphosphonates; Long COVID; MM-GBSA; Molecular docking; Molecular dynamics; RdRp; SARS-CoV-2; Virtual screening
Online: 27 November 2023 (16:52:17 CET)
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in over 720 million confirmed cases and 7 million deaths worldwide, with insufficient treatment options. Innumerable efforts are being made around the world for faster identification of therapeutic agents to treat the deadly disease. Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 (PASC), also called Long COVID, is still being understood and lacks treatment options as well. A growing list of drugs are being suggested by various in silico, in vitro and ex vivo models, however currently only two treatment options are widely used: the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibitor remdesivir, and the main protease (MPro) inhibitor nirmatrelvir in combination with ritonavir. Computational drug development tools and in silico studies involving molecular docking, molecular dynamics, entropy calculations and pharmacokinetics can be useful to identify new targets to treat COVID-19 and PASC, as shown in this paper. We have investigated bisphosphonates which can bind competitively to nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyl (NiRAN) transferase domain, and systematically downselected three candidates (CHEMBL196676, CHEMBL164344, and CHEMBL4291724) that show sufficient in silico promise to warrant further investigation in in vitro and ex vivo models.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Animal model; COVID-19; ferret; lipidomics; metabolomics; SARS-CoV-2; systems biology
Online: 11 May 2021 (10:20:03 CEST)
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory disease that is causing significant global morbidity and mortality. Understanding the impact of a SARS-CoV-2 infection on the host metabolism is still in its infancy but of great importance. Herein, we investigated the metabolic response during viral shedding and post-shedding in an asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 ferret model (n=6) challenged with two SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Virological and metabolic analyses were performed on (minimally invasive) collected oral swabs, rectal swabs, and nasal washes. Fragments of SARS-CoV-2 RNA were only found in the nasal wash samples in four of the six ferrets, and in the samples collected 3 to 9 days post-infection (referred to as viral shedding). Central carbon metabolism metabolites were analyzed during viral shedding and post-shedding periods using a dynamic MRM (dMRM) database and method. Subsequent untargeted metabolomics and lipidomics of the same samples were performed using an LC-QToF-MS methodology, building upon the identified differentiated central carbon metabolism metabolites. Multivariate analysis of the acquired data identified 29 significant metabolites and three lipids that were subjected to pathway enrichment and impact analysis. The presence of viral shedding coincided with the challenge dose administered and significant changes in the citric acid cycle, purine metabolism, and pentose phosphate pathways, amongst others, in the host nasal wash samples. An elevated immune response in the host was also observed between the two isolates studied. These results support other reported metabolomic-based findings found in clinical observational studies and indicate the utility of metabolomics applied to ferrets for further COVID-19 research that advances early diagnosis of asymptomatic and mild clinical COVID-19 infections, in addition to assessing the effectiveness of new or re-purposed drug therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0320.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID19; SARS-CoV-2; metabolomics; omics; animal models; ferret; host metabolic responses
Online: 21 October 2022 (03:55:09 CEST)
The global threat of COVID-19 has led to the increasing use of metabolomics to study SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans and animals. Despite this, understanding SARS-CoV-2's metabolome during infection remains difficult and incomplete. Here, metabolic responses were characterized from sampled nasal washes collected from an asymptomatic ferret model (n = 20) at different time points before and after the SARS-CoV-2 challenge using an LC-MS-based metabolomics approach. Multivariate analysis of the nasal wash metabolome data resulted in several statistically significant features being observed. Despite no effects of gender or interaction between gender and time on the time course of SARS-CoV-2 infection, 16 metabolites were significantly different at every time point post-infection. Among these altered metabolites, the relative abundance of taurine was elevated post infection which could be an indication of hepatotoxicity, while the accumulation of sialic acids could indicate SARS-CoV-2 invasion. The pathway analysis identified several pathways influenced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of these, sugar, glycan, and amino acid metabolisms were the key altered pathways in the upper respiratory channel during infection. These findings provide some new insights into the progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection in ferrets at the metabolic level which could be useful for the development of early clinical diagnosis tools and new or repurposed drug therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0310.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; CoviRx.org; database; drugs; pandemic; repurposing; SARS-CoV-2; therapies; treatments; Variants of Concern (VOC)
Online: 20 September 2022 (15:00:48 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed more than six million lives worldwide, devastating the economy and overwhelming healthcare systems globally. The development of new drug molecules and vaccines has played a critical role in managing the pandemic; however, new variants of concern still pose a significant threat as the current vaccines cannot prevent all infections. This situation calls for the collaboration of biomedical scientists and healthcare workers across the world. Repurposing approved drugs is an effective way of fast-tracking new treatments for recently emerged diseases. To this end, we have assembled and curated a database consisting of 7817 compounds from the Compounds Australia Open Drug collection. We developed a set of eight filters based on indicators of efficacy and safety that were applied sequentially to down-select drugs that showed promise for drug repurposing efforts against SARS-CoV-2. Considerable effort was made to evaluate approximately 14000 assay data points for SARS-CoV-2 FDA/TGA-approved drugs and provide an average activity score for 3539 compounds. The filtering process identified 12 FDA approved molecules with established safety profiles that have a plausible mechanism for treating COVID-19 disease. The methodology developed in our study provides a template for prioritising repurposable drug candidates that are safe, efficacious, and cost-effective for the treatment of COVID-19, long COVID, or any other future disease. We present our database in an easy-to-use interactive interface (CoviRx, https://www.covirx.org/) that was also developed to enable scientific community to access to the data of over 7000 potential drugs and to implement alternative prioritisation and down-selection strategies.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0323.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: COVID-19; Open-source dataset; Drug Repurposing; Database system; Web application devel-opment; software development; Drug fingerprints; Bulk upload
Online: 21 September 2022 (10:14:11 CEST)
Although various vaccines are now commercially available, they have not been able to stop the spread of COVID-19 infection completely. An excellent strategy to quickly get safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 treatment is to repurpose drugs that are already approved for other diseases as adjuvants along with the ongoing vaccine regime. The process of developing an accurate and standardized drug repurposing dataset requires a considerable level of resources and expertise due to the commercial availability of an extensive array of drugs that could be potentially used to address the SARS-CoV-2 infection. To address this bottleneck, we created the CoviRx platform. CoviRx is a user-friendly interface that provides access to the data, which is manually curated for COVID-19 drug repurposing data. Through CoviRx, the data curated has been made open-source to help advance drug repurposing research. CoviRx also encourages users to submit their findings after thoroughly validating the data, followed by merging it by enforcing uniformity and integ-rity-preserving constraints. This article discusses the various features of CoviRx and its design principles. CoviRx has been designed so that its functionality is independent of the data it dis-plays. Thus, in the future, this platform can be extended to include any other disease X beyond COVID-19. CoviRx can be accessed at www.covirx.org.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0288.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; Therapeutics; Drug Repurposing; 3D Tissue Models
Online: 20 September 2022 (03:24:22 CEST)
The repurposing of licenced drugs for use against COVID-19 is one of the most rapid ways to develop new and alternative therapeutic options to manage the ongoing pandemic. Given the approximately 8,000 licenced compounds available from Compounds Australia that can be screened, this paper demonstrates the utility of commercially-available ex vivo/3D airway and alveolar tissue models. These models are a closer representation of in vivo studies compared to in vitro models, but retain the benefits of rapid in vitro screening for drug efficacy. We demonstrate that several existing drugs appear to show anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity against both Delta and Omicron Variants of Concern in the airway model. In particular, fluvoxamine, as well as aprepitant, everolimus, and sirolimus have virus reduction efficacy comparable to the current standard of care (remdesivir, molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir). Whilst these results are encouraging, further testing and efficacy studies are required before clinical use can be considered.