loading page

Identification of putative drugs against viral respiratory infections by the pharmacovigilance analysis tool OpenVigil 2
  • +3
  • Ruwen Böhm,
  • Claudia Bulin,
  • Vicki Wätzig,
  • Ingolf Cascorbi,
  • Hans-Joachim Klein,
  • Thomas Herdegen
Ruwen Böhm
University Medicine Schleswig-Holstein
Author Profile
Claudia Bulin
University Medicine Schleswig-Holstein
Author Profile
Vicki Wätzig
University Medicine Schleswig-Holstein
Author Profile
Ingolf Cascorbi
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein
Author Profile
Hans-Joachim Klein
Kiel University
Author Profile
Thomas Herdegen
University Medicine Schleswig-Holstein
Author Profile


Aim: Pharmacovigilance data are primarily used to identify adverse drug reactions. However, scanning for associations of drugs and adverse events that occur less frequently than expected provides hypotheses for drug repurposing, i.e. a known drug could be therapeutically beneficial for a new indication like the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Methods: Drugs associated with viral respiratory tract infections and/or influenza were extracted from the U.S. FAERS pharmacovigilance data using OpenVigil2.1-MedDRA17, filtered for significant inverse associations (punadj<0.05), checked for plausibility, and categorised by their WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification code. Results: ATC clustering of 82 candidate drugs revealed anti-diabetics, neuropharmacologic sigma-receptor agonists, peptidase inhibitors, kinase inhibitors and anti-androgens. Chloroquine appears as a statistically significant risk factor for viral diseases supporting actual knowledge. Conclusion: OpenVigil 2 delivers new hypotheses for drug repurposing, theoretically for all indications. There is affirmative data for some of our results; the remaining proposed candidate drugs without already known antiviral mechanism of action should stimulate further exploration.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

15 Jun 2020Submitted to British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
16 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
16 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
06 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
30 Nov 20201st Revision Received
02 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
02 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
02 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
25 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
25 Mar 20212nd Revision Received
26 Mar 2021Assigned to Editor
26 Mar 2021Submission Checks Completed
26 Mar 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Accept