Potential Drug Options for Treatment of COVID-19: A Review

Author(s): Tinsae Kebede, Dharmendra Kumar*, Pramod Kumar Sharma

Journal Name: Coronaviruses
The World's First International Journal Dedicated to Coronaviruses

Volume 1 , Issue 1 , 2020

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


A virus known as novel corona (SARS-CoV-2) which causes COVID-19 pandemic disease is an invisible enemy, appeared for the first time in the world’s most populous country, China, and became a reason for causing death of many people all over the world. As a result of this, a remarkable investigation and clinical trials are ongoing to discover the treatment for this devastating pandemic disease. Effective vaccines and anti-viral treatments are immediately required in order to control and eradicate the disease. But still, neither vaccine nor any drug is approved for prevention and control of COVID-19 pandemic. Proper and well-designed strategies are needed to reduce social and economic consequences arisen due to this pandemic disease. There are some drugs that are used for other diseases which are showing valuable outcomes to elicit the virus causing COVID-19. However, there are no approved drugs full of clinical evidence. A systematic review literature search was carried out from different electronic databases to identify available articles on the effectiveness of drugs against COVID-19.Four therapies suggested recently via World Health Organization (abbreviated “WHO”) that were later incorporated for under taking efficient clinical trial of the newly established project (European Discovery), comprise remdesivir, combination of anti-viral drugs (lopinavir and ritonavir), lopinavir plus ritonavir with beta interferon, and anti-malarial drugs like hydroxyl chloroquine and chloroquine. On May 25 2020, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were suspended by WHO from Solidarity trial because of their safety and efficacy concerns. However, there were neither effective specific antivirals nor drug combinations approved which were supported by great-level of clinical evidence.

Keywords: Coronavirus, treatment, pandemic, anti-viral drug, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2.

Sahin AR, Erdogan A. Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: a review of the current literature. EJMO 2020; 4(1): 1-7.
Wang LS, Wang YR, Ye DW, Liu QQ. A review of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on current evidence. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020; 30(3): 269-71.
Kumar D, Malviya R, Kumar Sharma P. Corona Virus: A Review of COVID-19. EJMO 2020; 4(1): 8-25.
2020.Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation by World Health Organization https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace5
Colson P, Rolain JM, Raoult D. Chloroquine for the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020; 55105923
Sheahan TP, Sims AC, Leist SR, et al. Comparative therapeutic efficacy of remdesivir and combination lopinavir, ritonavir, and interferon beta against MERS-CoV. Nat Commun 2020; 11(1): 222-42.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13940-6] [PMID: 31924756]
Colson P, Rolain JM, Lagier JC, Brouqui P, Raoult D. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as available weapons to fight COVID-19. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020; 55(4)105932
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105932] [PMID: 32145363]
Cao B, Wang Y, Wen D, et al. A trial of Lopinavir–Ritonavir in adults hospitalized with severe Covid-19. N Engl J Med 2020; 382(19): 1787-99.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001282] [PMID: 32187464]
Molina JM, Delaugerre C, Le Goff J, et al. No evidence of rapid antiviral clearance or clinical benefit with the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in patients with severe COVID-19 infection. Med Mal Infect 2020; 50(4): 384.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.medmal.2020.03.006] [PMID: 32240719]
WHO. UN Foundation and Partners Launch First-of-its-kind COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-03-2020-who-un-foundation-and-partnerslaunch-first-of-its-kind-covid-19-solidarity-response-fund
WHO Director-General opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 2020.
Wang M, Cao R, Zhang L, et al. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell Res 2020; 30(3): 269-71.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41422-020-0282-0] [PMID: 32020029]
Zhang Q, Wang Y, Qi C, Shen L, Li J. Clinical trial analysis of 2019-nCoV therapy registered in China. J Med Virol 2020; (February): 1-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25733] [PMID: 32108352]
Li G, De Clercq E. Therapeutic options for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Nat Rev Drug Discov 2020; 19(3): 149-50.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41573-020-00016-0] [PMID: 32127666]
Mehta N, Mazer-Amirshahi M, Alkindi N. Pharmacotherapy in COVID -19. Narrative review. The American journal of emergency medicine 2020.
Liu F, Xu A, Zhang Y, et al. Patients of COVID-19 may benefit from sustained Lopinavir-combined regimen and the increase of Eosinophil may predict the outcome of COVID-19 progression. Int J Infect Dis 2020; 95: 183-91.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.013] [PMID: 32173576]
Fan H-H. Wang, Li-Qin., Liu, Wen-Li., An, Xiao-Ping., Liu, Zhen- Dong, He, Xiao-Qi., Song, LiHua., Tong, Yi-Gang. 2020. Repurposing of clinically approved drugs for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 in a 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) related coronavirus model Chinese Medical Journal
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CM9.0000000000000797] [PMID: 32149769]
Cai Q, Yang M, Liu D, et al. Experimental Treatment with Favipiravir for COVID-19: An Open-Label Control Study. Engineering (Beijing) 2020.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eng.2020.03.007] [PMID: 32346491]
Tang B, Li S, Xiong Y, et al. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pneumonia in a Hemodialysis Patient. Kidney Medicine 2020.
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry. A randomized, open-label, blankcontrolled trial for the efficacy and safety of lopinavir-ritonavir and interferon-alpha 2b in hospitalization patients with novel coronavirus infection 2020 http://www.chictr.org.cn/showprojen.aspx?proj=48684
Yao X, Ye F, Zhang M, et al. In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Clinical Infectious Diseases 2020.
De Clercq E. New nucleoside analogues for the treatment of hemorrhagic fever virus infections. Chem Asian J 2019; 14(22): 3962-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asia.201900841] [PMID: 31389664]
Wang Z, Chen X, Lu Y, Chen F, Zhang W. Clinical characteristics and therapeutic procedure for four cases with 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia receiving combined Chinese and Western medicine treatment. Biosci Trends 2020; 14(1): 64-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.5582/bst.2020.01030] [PMID: 32037389]
Zumla A, Chan JF, Azhar EI, Hui DS, Yuen KY. Coronaviruses - drug discovery and therapeutic options. Nat Rev Drug Discov 2016; 15(5): 327-47.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrd.2015.37] [PMID: 26868298]
Taylor NP. Gilead mulls repositioning failed ebola drug in china virus https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/gilead-mulls-repositioning-failed-ebola-drug-china-virus
Philippe G, Lagierac J-C, Parola P, et al. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label nonrandomized clinical trial. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020; 20105949
Speights K. 5 biotech stocks to watch with the coronavirus scare 2020.
Tech P Coronavirus. Gilead, purdue university explore potential treatments https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/coronavirus-drugs-development/
Mak E. Coronavirus outbreak pushes chinese biotech stocks higher despite market downturn https://www.bioworld.com/articles/432890-coronavirus-outbreak-pushes-chinese-biotech-stockshigher-despite-market-downturn
Zou C. Coronavirus: Chinese researchers claim tcm herbal remedy could ‘inhibit’ 2019-ncov 2020 https://www.bioworld.com/articles/432838-coronavirus-chinese-researchers-claim-tcmherbal-remedy-could-inhibit-2019-ncov
ClinicalTrials.gov. Efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of pneumonia caused by 2019-ncov 2020 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04261517
ClinicalTrials.gov. The efficacy of lopinavir plus ritonavir and arbidol against novel coronavirus infection https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04252885
ClinicalTrials.gov. 2020.Mesenchymal stem cell treatment for pneumonia patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04252118
ClinicalTrials.gov. Treatment and prevention of traditional chinese medicines (tcms) on 2019-ncov infection 2019 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03301090
ClinicalTrials.gov. Glucocorticoid therapy for novel coronavirus critically ill patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Failure (steroids-sari) 2020 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04244591
Mag S. Can an anti-hiv combination or other existing drugs outwit the new coronavirus? https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/can-anti-hiv-combination-or-other-existingdrugs-outwit-newcoronavirus
Wu D, Yang XO. TH17 responses in cytokine storm of COVID-19: An emerging target of JAK2 inhibitor Fedratinib. J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2020; 53(3): 368-70.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmii.2020.03.005] [PMID: 32205092]
Runfeng L, Yunlong H, Jicheng H, et al. Lianhuaqingwen exerts anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity against novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Pharmacol Res 2020.156104761
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104761] [PMID: 32205232]
Zhang W, Zhao Y, Zhang F, et al. The use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of people with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): The Perspectives of clinical immunologists from China. Clin Immunol 2020.214108393
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2020.108393] [PMID: 32222466]
Zhang HL, Zhu YX. One highly suspected case of novel coronavirus pneumonia treated by Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western medicine and nucleic acid analysis http://kns.cnki.net/kcms/detail/12.1349.R.20200227.0909.004.html
Kruse RL. Therapeutic strategies in an outbreak scenario to treat the novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China. F1000 Res 2020; 9: 72.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.22211.2] [PMID: 32117569]
Justin S, Phelan A, Griffin I, Tucker C. OllyOechsle, Dan Smith, Peter Richardson. COVID-19: combining antiviral and antiinflammatory treatments. Lancet Infect Dis 2020; 20: 400-2.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473- 3099(20)30132-8]
Zahra Sahraei Pharm. D, BCPS, MinooshShabani MD, ShervinShokouhi MD, MPH, Ali Saffaei Pharm. D. Aminoquinolines against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020.105945
Ren JL, Zhang AH, Wang XJ. Traditional Chinese medicine for COVID-19 treatment. Pharmacol Res 2020.155104743
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104743] [PMID: 32145402]
Nguyen TM, Zhang Y, Pandolfi PP. Virus against virus: a potential treatment for 2019-nCov (SARS-CoV-2) and other RNA viruses. Cell Res 2020; 30(3): 189-90.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41422-020-0290-0] [PMID: 32071427]
Biot C, Daher W, Chavain N, et al. Design and synthesis of hydroxyferroquine derivatives with antimalarial and antiviral activities. J Med Chem 2006; 49(9): 2845-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm0601856] [PMID: 16640347]
de Wilde AH, Jochmans D, Posthuma CC, et al. Screening of an FDA-approved compound library identifies four small-molecule inhibitors of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus replication in cell culture. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2014; 58(8): 4875-84.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.03011-14] [PMID: 24841269]
Dyall J, Coleman CM, Hart BJ, et al. 2014 Repurposing of clinically developed drugs for Tteatment of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection Antimicr Agents Chemother 58: 4885-93.
Rabby MI. Md Insiat Islam Rabby. Current Drugs with Potential for Treatment of COVID-19: A Literature Review. J Pharm Pharm Sci 2020; 23(1): 58-64.www.cspsCanada.org
[http://dx.doi.org/10.18433/jpps31002] [PMID: 32251618]
Thorlund K, Dron L, et al. A real time dashboard of clinical trials for COVID-19. The Lancet. Digit Health 2020; 2(6): 286-7.
Xu J, Shi PY, Li H, et al. Broad spectrum antviral agent niclosamide and its therapeutcpotental. ACS Infect Dis 2020.
Deng L, Li C, Zeng Q, et al. Arbidol combined with LPV/r versus LPV/r alone against Corona Virus Disease 2019: A retrospective cohort study. J Infect 2020; 81(1): e1-5.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2020.03.002] [PMID: 32171872]

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 08 September, 2020
Page: [42 - 48]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/2666796701999200701131604

Article Metrics

PDF: 20