A rational roadmap for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pharmacotherapeutic research
In this review, we identify opportunities for drug discovery in the
treatment of COVID-19 and in so doing, provide a rational roadmap
whereby pharmacology and pharmacologists can mitigate against the global
pandemic. We assess the scope for targetting key host and viral targets
in the mid-term, by first screening these targets against drugs already
licensed; an agenda for drug re-purposing, which should allow rapid
translation to clinical trials. A simultaneous, multi-pronged approach
using conventional drug discovery methodologies aimed at discovering
novel chemical and biological means targetting a short-list of host and
viral entities should extend the arsenal of anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. This
longer-term strategy would provide a deeper pool of drug choices for
future-proofing against acquired drug resistance. Second, there will be
further viral threats, which will inevitably evade existing vaccines.
This will require a coherent therapeutic strategy which pharmacology and
pharmacologists are best placed to provide.