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In Structural chemistry

The unprecedented outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus-2, across the globe, triggered a worldwide uproar in the search for immediate treatment strategies. With no specific drug and not much data available, alternative approaches such as drug repurposing came to the limelight. To date, extensive research on the repositioning of drugs has led to the identification of numerous drugs against various important protein targets of the coronavirus strains, with hopes of the drugs working against the major variants of concerns (alpha, beta, gamma, delta, omicron) of the virus. Advancements in computational sciences have led to improved scope of repurposing via techniques such as structure-based approaches including molecular docking, molecular dynamic simulations and quantitative structure activity relationships, network-based approaches, and artificial intelligence-based approaches with other core machine and deep learning algorithms. This review highlights the various approaches to repurposing drugs from a computational biological perspective, with various mechanisms of action of the drugs against some of the major protein targets of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, clinical trials data on potential COVID-19 repurposed drugs are also highlighted with stress on the major SARS-CoV-2 targets and the structural effect of variants on these targets. The interaction modelling of some important repurposed drugs has also been elucidated. Furthermore, the merits and demerits of drug repurposing are also discussed, with a focus on the scope and applications of the latest advancements in repurposing.

Niranjan Vidya, Setlur Anagha Shamsundar, Karunakaran Chandrashekar, Uttarkar Akshay, Kumar Kalavathi Murugan, Skariyachan Sinosh


COVID-19, Computational sciences, Drug repurposing, Protein targets, SARS-CoV-2, Variants of concern