Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

Gliptin Repurposing for COVID-19


De novo drug discovery of any therapeutic modality (e.g. antibodies, vaccines or small molecules) historically takes years from idea/preclinic to the market and it is therefore not a short-term solution for the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Therefore, drug repurposing – the discovery novel indication areas for already approved drugs - is perhaps the only approach able to yield a short term relieve. Here we describe computational screening results suggesting that certain members of the drug class of gliptins are inhibitors of the two SARS-CoV-2 proteases 3CLpro and PLpro. The oral bioavailable antidiabetic drug class of gliptins are safe and have been introduced clinically since 2006 and used by millions of patients since then. Based on our repurposing hypothesis the nitrile containing gliptins deserve further investigation as potential anti-COVID19 drugs.


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