The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus
(2019-nCoV). The 2019-nCoV first broke out in Wuhan and subsequently spread worldwide
owing to its extreme transmission efficiency. The fact that the COVID-19 cases and mortalities are reported
globally and the WHO has declared this outbreak as the pandemic, the international health authorities
have focused on rapid diagnosis and isolation of patients as well as search for therapies able
to counter the disease severity. Due to the lack of known specific, effective and proven therapies as
well as the situation of public-health emergency, drug repurposing appears to be the best armour to
find a therapeutic solution against 2019-nCoV infection. Repurposing anti-malarial drugs and chloroquine
(CQ)/ hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have shown efficacy to inhibit most coronaviruses, including
SARS-CoV-1 coronavirus. These CQ analogues have shown potential efficacy to inhibit 2019-nCoV
in vitro that leads to focus several future clinical trials. This review discusses the possible effective
roles and mechanisms of CQ analogues for interfering with the 2019-nCoV replication cycle and infection.
Keywords: 2019-nCoV, COVID-19, drug repurposing, hydroxychloroquine, clinical trials, pandemic.
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