Repurposing FDA-Approved Drugs for COVID-19 Using a Data-Driven Approach
Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
There have been more than 116,000 recorded deaths worldwide to-date caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and over 1.8 million individuals are currently infected. Although there are now hundreds of clinical trials for COVID-19, there are currently no effective licensed treatments, while the numbers of infected individuals continue to rise at an exponential rate in many parts of the world. Here, we used a data-driven approach utilizing connectivity mapping and the transcriptional signature of lung carcinoma cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, to search for drugs across the spectrum of medicine that have repurposing potential for treating COVID-19. We also performed chemoinformatic analyses to test whether the identified compounds were predicted to physically interact with the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase or main protease enzymes. Our study identified commonly prescribed FDA-approved molecules as important candidates for drug repositioning against COVID-19, including flupentixol, reserpine, fluoxetine, trifluoperazine, sunitinib, atorvastatin, raloxifene, butoconazole, and metformin. These drugs should not be taken for treating or preventing COVID-19 without a doctor’s advice, as further research and clinical trials are now needed to elucidate their efficacy for this purpose.