Plain language summary
The covid-19 pandemic has required the identification of therapies to prevent infection and limit severity. A previous paper by the same authors reviewed therapies that block the virus in the early stages of its lifecycle. This very large review of over 300 papers aimed to summarise therapeutics which are aimed at blocking the lifecycle of the virus after it has entered the body’s cells. The authors began by reviewing the lifecycle of the covid-19 virus explaining how it enters the body’s cells, replicates inside and then is released to infect new cells. Several antivirals, antimalarials and natural products were then reviewed. Of note, Remdesivir is being trialled in covid-19 patients, with mixed results, however, is being recommended in the US for the treatment of hospitalised covid-19 patients with severe disease. Ribavirin, which is being trialled in combination with other antivirals is also showing promising results in shortening hospitalisation times in covid-19 patients. It was concluded that any stage of the covid-19 lifecycle could be a target for therapeutics and combining therapies is likely to be more successful than monotherapy. This paper could be used by health care professionals to understand the most recent therapeutic research for covid-19.
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to challenge health care systems around the world. Scientists and pharmaceutical companies have promptly responded by advancing potential therapeutics into clinical trials at an exponential rate. Initial encouraging results have been realized using remdesivir and dexamethasone. Yet, the research continues so as to identify better clinically relevant therapeutics that act either as prophylactics to prevent the infection or as treatments to limit the severity of COVID-19 and substantially decrease the mortality rate. Previously, we reviewed the potential therapeutics in clinical trials that block the early stage of the viral life cycle. In this review, we summarize potential anti-COVID-19 therapeutics that block/inhibit the post-entry stages of the viral life cycle. The review presents not only the chemical structures and mechanisms of the potential therapeutics under clinical investigation, i.e., listed in clinicaltrials.gov, but it also describes the relevant results of clinical trials. Their anti-inflammatory/immune-modulatory effects are also described. The reviewed therapeutics include small molecules, polypeptides, and monoclonal antibodies. At the molecular level, the therapeutics target viral proteins or processes that facilitate the post-entry stages of the viral infection. Frequent targets are the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and the viral proteases such as papain-like protease (PLpro) and main protease (Mpro). Overall, we aim at presenting up-to-date details of anti-COVID-19 therapeutics so as to catalyze their potential effective use in fighting the pandemic.