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Repurposing FDA-Approved Drugs for COVID-19 Using a Data-Driven Approach

submitted on 17.04.2020, 19:37 and posted on 21.04.2020, 13:36 by Rodrigo R. R. Duarte, Dennis C. Copertino Jr., Luis P. Iñiguez, Jez L. Marston, Douglas F. Nixon, Timothy R. Powell

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.


Email Address of Submitting Author


Weill Cornell Medicine


United States

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.