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On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. The viral outbreak led in turn to an exponential growth of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, that is, a multiorgan disease that has led to more than 6.3 million deaths worldwide, as of June 2022. There are currently few effective drugs approved for treatment of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 patients. Many of the compounds tested so far have been selected through a drug repurposing approach, that is, by identifying novel indications for drugs already approved for other conditions. We here present an up-to-date review of the main Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs repurposed against SARS-CoV-2 infection, discussing their mechanism of action and their most important preclinical and clinical results. Reviewed compounds were chosen to privilege those that have been approved for use in SARS-CoV-2 patients or that have completed phase III clinical trials. Moreover, we also summarize the evidence on some novel and promising repurposed drugs in the pipeline. Finally, we discuss the current stage and possible steps toward the development of broadly effective drug combinations to suppress the onset or progression of COVID-19.


Noha Samir Taibe, Maimona A Kord, Mohamed Ahmed Badawy, Iart Luca Shytaj, Mahmoud M Elhefnawi. Progress, pitfalls, and path forward of drug repurposing for COVID-19 treatment. Therapeutic advances in respiratory disease. 2022 Jan-Dec;16:17534666221132736

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PMID: 36282077

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