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

In Briefings in bioinformatics

Vaccines have made gratifying progress in preventing the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the emergence of variants, especially the latest delta variant, has brought considerable challenges to human health. Hence, the development of robust therapeutic approaches, such as anti-COVID-19 drug design, could aid in managing the pandemic more efficiently. Some drug design strategies have been successfully applied during the COVID-19 pandemic to create and validate related lead drugs. The computational drug design methods used for COVID-19 can be roughly divided into (i) structure-based approaches and (ii) artificial intelligence (AI)-based approaches. Structure-based approaches investigate different molecular fragments and functional groups through lead drugs and apply relevant tools to produce antiviral drugs. AI-based approaches usually use end-to-end learning to explore a larger biochemical space to design antiviral drugs. This review provides an overview of the two design strategies of anti-COVID-19 drugs, the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies and discussions of future developments.

Wang Jinxian, Zhang Ying, Nie Wenjuan, Luo Yi, Deng Lei


COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, artificial intelligence, computational drug design, structure-based