Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Briefings in bioinformatics

Given the scale and rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, or 2019-nCoV), there is an urgent need to identify therapeutics that are effective against COVID-19 before vaccines are available. Since the current rate of SARS-CoV-2 knowledge acquisition via traditional research methods is not sufficient to match the rapid spread of the virus, novel strategies of drug discovery for SARS-CoV-2 infection are required. Structure-based virtual screening for example relies primarily on docking scores and does not take the importance of key residues into consideration, which may lead to a significantly higher incidence rate of false-positive results. Our novel in silico approach, which overcomes these limitations, can be utilized to quickly evaluate FDA-approved drugs for repurposing and combination, as well as designing new chemical agents with therapeutic potential for COVID-19. As a result, anti-HIV or antiviral drugs (lopinavir, tenofovir disoproxil, fosamprenavir and ganciclovir), antiflu drugs (peramivir and zanamivir) and an anti-HCV drug (sofosbuvir) are predicted to bind to 3CLPro in SARS-CoV-2 with therapeutic potential for COVID-19 infection by our new protocol. In addition, we also propose three antidiabetic drugs (acarbose, glyburide and tolazamide) for the potential treatment of COVID-19. Finally, we apply our new virus chemogenomics knowledgebase platform with the integrated machine-learning computing algorithms to identify the potential drug combinations (e.g. remdesivir+chloroquine), which are congruent with ongoing clinical trials. In addition, another 10 compounds from CAS COVID-19 antiviral candidate compounds dataset are also suggested by Molecular Complex Characterizing System with potential treatment for COVID-19. Our work provides a novel strategy for the repurposing and combinations of drugs in the market and for prediction of chemical candidates with anti-COVID-19 potential.

Feng Zhiwei, Chen Maozi, Xue Ying, Liang Tianjian, Chen Hui, Zhou Yuehan, Nolin Thomas D, Smith Randall B, Xie Xiang-Qun

2020-Oct-20

COVID-19, MCCS, drug combination, drug repurposing, residue energy contribution