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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

General Research Article

Anti-malarial Drugs are Not Created Equal for SARS-CoV-2 Treatment: A Computational Analysis Evidence

Author(s): Simone Ronsisvalle, Federica Panarello, Rosaria Di Mauro, Renato Bernardini, Giovanni Li Volti* and Giuseppina Cantarella

Volume 27, Issue 10, 2021

Published on: 09 December, 2020

Page: [1323 - 1329] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1381612826666201210092736


Background: The evolution of the pandemic has burdened the national healthcare systems worldwide and at present, there is no preferred antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Recently, the SARS-Cov-2 protease structure was released that may be exploited in in-silico studies in order to conduct molecular docking analysis.

Methods: In particular, we compared the binding of twoantimalarial drugs, already in use, (i.e. chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine), which showed some potential clinical effects on COVID-19 patients, using ritonavir, lopinavir and darunavir as positive control tree antiviral recognized compounds.

Results: Our results showed that hydroxychloroquine but not chloroquine exhibited a significant binding activity to the main protease similar to that possessed by protease inhibitors tested for other viral infections.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that hydroxychloroquine may exert additional direct antiviral activity compared to chloroquine. In the absence of clinical studies comparing the efficacy of these two compounds, hydroxychloroquine may offer additional effects and may be considered as the first choice.

Keywords: COVID19, protease inhibitor, SARS-CoV-2, computational analysis, Anti-malarial, hydroxychloroquine.

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