Clinical features and mechanistic insights into drug repurposing for combating COVID-19.
The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2022;:106114
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged from Wuhan in China before it spread to the entire globe. It causes coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) where mostly individuals present mild symptoms, some remain asymptomatic and some show severe lung inflammation and pneumonia in the host through the induction of a marked inflammatory 'cytokine storm'. New and efficacious vaccines have been developed and put into clinical practice in record time, however, there is a still a need for effective treatments for those who are not vaccinated or remain susceptible to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant strains. Despite this, effective therapeutic interventions against COVID-19 remain elusive. Here, we have reviewed potential drugs for COVID-19 classified on the basis of their mode of action. The mechanisms of action of each are discussed in detail to highlight the therapeutic targets that may help in reducing the global pandemic. The review was done up to July 2021 and the data was assessed through the official websites of WHO and CDC for collecting the information on the clinical trials. Moreover, the recent research papers were also assessed for the relevant data. The search was mainly based on keywords like Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, drugs (specific name of the drugs), COVID-19, clinical efficiency, safety profile, side-effects etc.This review outlines potential areas for future research into COVID-19 treatment strategies.
The potential role of resveratrol as supportive antiviral in treating conditions such as COVID-19 - A formulator's perspective.
Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie. 2022;:112767
With an increased transmissibility but milder form of disease of the omicron variant of COVID-19 and the newer antivirals often still out of reach of many populations, a refocus of the current treatment regimens is required. Safe, affordable, and available adjuvant treatments should also be considered and known drugs and substances need to be repurposed and tested. Resveratrol, a well-known antioxidant of natural origin, shown to act as an antiviral as well as playing a role in immune stimulation, down regulation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine release and reducing lung injury by reducing oxidative stress, is such an option. New initiatives and collaborations will however need to be found to unleash resveratrol's full potential in the pharmaceutical market.
Meta-analysis of arbidol versus lopinavir/ritonavir in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019.
Journal of medical virology. 2022;(4):1513-1522
OBJECTIVES To systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of arbidol and lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) using a meta-analysis method. METHODS The China Knowledge Network, VIP database, WanFang database PubMed database, Embase database, and Cochrane Library were searched for a collection of comparative studies on arbidol and lopinavir/ritonavir in the treatment of COVID-19. Meta-analysis was used to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Arbidol and lopinavir/ritonavir in the treatment of COVID-19. RESULTS The results of the systematic review indicated that Arbidol had a higher positive-to-negative conversion rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid on Day 7 (p = 0.03), a higher positive-to-negative conversion rate of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid on Day 14 (p = 0.006), a higher improvement rate of chest computed tomography on Day 14 (p = 0.02), a lower incidence of adverse reactions (p = 0.002) and lower rate of mortality (p = 0.007). There was no difference in the rate of cough disappearance on Day 14 (p = 0.24) or the rate of severe/critical illness (p = 0.07) between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS Arbidol may be superior to lopinavir/ritonavir in the treatment of COVID-19. However, due to the small number of included studies and the number of patients, high-quality multicenter large-sample randomized double-blind controlled trials are still needed for verification.
Remdesivir plus standard of care versus standard of care alone for the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (DisCoVeRy): a phase 3, randomised, controlled, open-label trial.
The Lancet. Infectious diseases. 2022;(2):209-221
BACKGROUND The antiviral efficacy of remdesivir against SARS-CoV-2 is still controversial. We aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of remdesivir plus standard of care compared with standard of care alone in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, with indication of oxygen or ventilator support. METHODS DisCoVeRy was a phase 3, open-label, adaptive, multicentre, randomised, controlled trial conducted in 48 sites in Europe (France, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Luxembourg). Adult patients (aged ≥18 years) admitted to hospital with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and illness of any duration were eligible if they had clinical evidence of hypoxaemic pneumonia, or required oxygen supplementation. Exclusion criteria included elevated liver enzymes, severe chronic kidney disease, any contraindication to one of the studied treatments or their use in the 29 days before random assignment, or use of ribavirin, as well as pregnancy or breastfeeding. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1:1) to receive standard of care alone or in combination with remdesivir, lopinavir-ritonavir, lopinavir-ritonavir and interferon beta-1a, or hydroxychloroquine. Randomisation used computer-generated blocks of various sizes; it was stratified on severity of disease at inclusion and on European administrative region. Remdesivir was administered as 200 mg intravenous infusion on day 1, followed by once daily, 1-h infusions of 100 mg up to 9 days, for a total duration of 10 days. It could be stopped after 5 days if the participant was discharged. The primary outcome was the clinical status at day 15 measured by the WHO seven-point ordinal scale, assessed in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in the modified intention-to-treat population and was one of the secondary outcomes. This trial is registered with the European Clinical Trials Database, EudraCT2020-000936-23, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04315948. FINDINGS Between March 22, 2020, and Jan 21, 2021, 857 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to remdesivir plus standard of care (n=429) or standard of care only (n=428). 15 participants were excluded from analysis in the remdesivir group, and ten in the control group. At day 15, the distribution of the WHO ordinal scale was: (1) not hospitalised, no limitations on activities (61 [15%] of 414 in the remdesivir group vs 73 [17%] of 418 in the control group); (2) not hospitalised, limitation on activities (129 [31%] vs 132 [32%]); (3) hospitalised, not requiring supplemental oxygen (50 [12%] vs 29 [7%]); (4) hospitalised, requiring supplemental oxygen (76 [18%] vs 67 [16%]); (5) hospitalised, on non-invasive ventilation or high flow oxygen devices (15 [4%] vs 14 [3%]); (6) hospitalised, on invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (62 [15%] vs 79 [19%]); (7) death (21 [5%] vs 24 [6%]). The difference between treatment groups was not significant (odds ratio 0·98 [95% CI 0·77-1·25]; p=0·85). There was no significant difference in the occurrence of serious adverse events between treatment groups (remdesivir, 135 [33%] of 406 vs control, 130 [31%] of 418; p=0·48). Three deaths (acute respiratory distress syndrome, bacterial infection, and hepatorenal syndrome) were considered related to remdesivir by the investigators, but only one by the sponsor's safety team (hepatorenal syndrome). INTERPRETATION No clinical benefit was observed from the use of remdesivir in patients who were admitted to hospital for COVID-19, were symptomatic for more than 7 days, and required oxygen support. FUNDING European Union Commission, French Ministry of Health, Domaine d'intérêt majeur One Health Île-de-France, REACTing, Fonds Erasme-COVID-Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre, Austrian Group Medical Tumor, European Regional Development Fund, Portugal Ministry of Health, Portugal Agency for Clinical Research and Biomedical Innovation. TRANSLATION For the French translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
Potential role of Drug Repositioning Strategy (DRS) for management of tauopathy.
Life sciences. 2022;:120267
Tauopathy is a term that has been used to represent a pathological condition in which hyperphosphorylated tau protein aggregates in neurons and glia which results in neurodegeneration, synapse loss and dysfunction and cognitive impairments. Recently, drug repositioning strategy (DRS) becomes a promising field and an alternative approach to advancing new treatments from actually developed and FDA approved drugs for an indication other than the indication it was originally intended for. This paradigm provides an advantage because the safety of the candidate compound has already been established, which abolishes the need for further preclinical safety testing and thus substantially reduces the time and cost involved in progressing of clinical trials. In the present review, we focused on correlation between tauopathy and common diseases as type 2 diabetes mellitus and the global virus COVID-19 and how tau pathology can aggravate development of these diseases in addition to how these diseases can be a risk factor for development of tauopathy. Moreover, correlation between COVID-19 and type 2 diabetes mellitus was also discussed. Therefore, repositioning of a drug in the daily clinical practice of patients to manage or prevent two or more diseases at the same time with lower side effects and drug-drug interactions is a promising idea. This review concluded the results of pre-clinical and clinical studies applied on antidiabetics, COVID-19 medications, antihypertensives, antidepressants and cholesterol lowering drugs for possible drug repositioning for management of tauopathy.
Emerging Roles of Vitamin D-Induced Antimicrobial Peptides in Antiviral Innate Immunity.
Vitamin D deficiency, characterized by low circulating levels of calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25D) has been linked to increased risk of infections of bacterial and viral origin. Innate immune cells produce hormonal calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, 1,25D) locally from circulating calcifediol in response to pathogen threat and an immune-specific cytokine network. Calcitriol regulates gene expression through its binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a ligand-regulated transcription factor. The hormone-bound VDR induces the transcription of genes integral to innate immunity including pattern recognition receptors, cytokines, and most importantly antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Transcription of the human AMP genes β-defensin 2/defensin-β4 (HBD2/DEFB4) and cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) is stimulated by the VDR bound to promoter-proximal vitamin D response elements. HDB2/DEFB4 and the active form of CAMP, the peptide LL-37, which form amphipathic secondary structures, were initially characterized for their antibacterial actively. Notably, calcitriol signaling induces secretion of antibacterial activity in vitro and in vivo, and low circulating levels of calcifediol are associated with diverse indications characterized by impaired antibacterial immunity such as dental caries and urinary tract infections. However, recent work has also provided evidence that the same AMPs are components of 1,25D-induced antiviral responses, including those against the etiological agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. This review surveys the evidence for 1,25D-induced antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo in humans and presents our current understanding of the potential mechanisms by which CAMP and HBD2/DEFB4 contribute to antiviral immunity.
Effect of a genetically engineered interferon-alpha versus traditional interferon-alpha in the treatment of moderate-to-severe COVID-19: a randomised clinical trial.
Annals of medicine. 2021;(1):391-401
BACKGROUND There are few effective therapies for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) upon the outbreak of the pandemic. To compare the effectiveness of a novel genetically engineered recombinant super-compound interferon (rSIFN-co) with traditional interferon-alpha added to baseline antiviral agents (lopinavir-ritonavir or umifenovir) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe COVID-19. METHOD In this multicenter randomized (1:1) trial, patients hospitalized with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 received either rSIFN-co nebulization or interferon-alpha nebulization added to baseline antiviral agents for no more than 28 days. The primary endpoint was the time to clinical improvement. Secondary endpoints included the overall rate of clinical improvement assessed on day 28, the time to radiological improvement and virus nucleic acid negative conversion. RESULTS A total of 94 patients were included in the safety set (46 patients assigned to rSIFN-co group, 48 to interferon-alpha group). The time to clinical improvement was 11.5 days versus 14.0 days (95% CI 1.10 to 2.81, p = .019); the overall rate of clinical improvement on day 28 was 93.5% versus 77.1% (difference, 16.4%; 95% CI 3% to 30%); the time to radiological improvement was 8.0 days versus 10.0 days (p = .002), the time to virus nucleic acid negative conversion was 7.0 days versus 10.0 days (p = .018) in the rSIFN-co and interferon alpha arms, respectively. Adverse events were balanced with no deaths among groups. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE rSIFN-co was associated with a shorter time of clinical improvement than traditional interferon-alpha in the treatment of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 when combined with baseline antiviral agents. rSIFN-co therapy alone or combined with other antiviral therapy is worth to be further studied.Key messagesThere are few effective therapies for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) upon the outbreak of the pandemic. Interferon alphas, by inducing both innate and adaptive immune responses, have shown clinical efficacy in treating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.In this multicenter, head-to-head, randomized, clinical trial which included 94 participants with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, the rSIFN-co plus antiviral agents (lopinavir-ritonavir or umifenovir) was associated with a shorter time of clinical improvement than interferon-alpha plus antiviral agents.
Possible Beneficial Actions of Caffeine in SARS-CoV-2.
International journal of molecular sciences. 2021;(11)
The COVID-19 pandemic has established an unparalleled necessity to rapidly find effective treatments for the illness; unfortunately, no specific treatment has been found yet. As this is a new emerging chaotic situation, already existing drugs have been suggested to ameliorate the infection of SARS-CoV-2. The consumption of caffeine has been suggested primarily because it improves exercise performance, reduces fatigue, and increases wakefulness and awareness. Caffeine has been proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory and immunomodulator. In airway smooth muscle, it has bronchodilator effects mainly due to its activity as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and adenosine receptor antagonist. In addition, a recent published document has suggested the potential antiviral activity of this drug using in silico molecular dynamics and molecular docking; in this regard, caffeine might block the viral entrance into host cells by inhibiting the formation of a receptor-binding domain and the angiotensin-converting enzyme complex and, additionally, might reduce viral replication by the inhibition of the activity of 3-chymotrypsin-like proteases. Here, we discuss how caffeine through certain mechanisms of action could be beneficial in SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, further studies are required for validation through in vitro and in vivo models.
Therapeutic potential of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in preventing cytokine storm in COVID-19: review of current evidence.
European review for medical and pharmacological sciences. 2021;(6):2802-2807
Since November 2019, SARS Coronavirus 2 disease (COVID-19) pandemic has spread through more than 195 nations worldwide. Though the coronavirus infection affects all age and sex groups, the mortality is skewed towards the elderly population and the cause of death is mostly acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). There are data suggesting the role of excessive immune activation and cytokine storm as the cause of lung injury in COVID-19. The excessive immune activation and cytokine storm usually occurs due to an imbalance in redox homeostasis of the individuals. Considering the antioxidant and free radical scavenging action of N acetyl cysteine (NAC), its use might be useful in COVID-19 patients by decreasing the cytokine storm consequently decreasing the disease severity. Therefore, we reviewed all the available resources pertaining to the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cytokine storm and the mechanism of action of NAC in preventing ROS. We also reviewed the use of NAC in COVID-19.
Clinical Course and Risk Factors of Disease Deterioration in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19.
Human gene therapy. 2021;(5-6):310-315
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began in December 2019 and rapidly spread to other provinces in China as well as other countries. In this study, 262 patients diagnosed with moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China, were analyzed. Data were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors. Of all the 262 patients, 23 (8.8%) patients died and 239 (91.2%) were discharged. The median age was 63.5 years and 46.9% of patients were male. The main complaints were fever (83.6%), cough (63.4%), and fatigue (49.2%) in the surviving group, while there were more complaints of dyspnea (39.1%) and shortness of breath (56.5%) in the nonsurviving group. The main comorbidities were hypertension (35.5%), diabetes mellitus (16.4%), and coronary artery disease (9.9%). Morbidity is higher in elderly patients with more comorbidities. Patients were mainly treated with nasal cannula (93.9%), while the nonsurviving group received more invasive mechanical ventilation (39.1%). Arbidol (80.9%), ribavirin (36.6%), oseltamivir (38.9%), interferon (16.4%), and ganciclovir (14.5%) were used for the antiviral treatment. In the nonsurviving group, the number of white blood cells (WBC) was significantly increased and lymphocytes were decreased, and lymphopenia was more common. The levels of aspartate transaminase (AST), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), creatine kinase isoenzyme MB (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were also significantly increased in the nonsurviving group. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for association of known variables for all-cause mortality due to the coronavirus disease 2019 were 2.467 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.007-6.044; p = 0.048) for shortness of breath and 1.025 (95% CI, 1.001-1.049; p = 0.042) for AST. Elderly patients with more comorbidities and complaints of dyspnea and shortness of breath had increased risk of death. Patients with lymphopenia and high levels of WBC, AST, BNP, CK-MB, LDH, and CRP may be more likely to deteriorate.