COVID19 Approved Drug Repurposing: Pocket Similarity Approach

28 July 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


SARS CoV 2 has spread worldwide and caused a major outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To date, no licensed drug or a vaccine is available against COVID19.

Starting from all of the resolved SARS CoV2 crystal structures, this study aims to find inhibitors for all of the SARS CoV2 proteins. To achieve this, I used PocketMatch to test the similarity of approved drugs binding sites against all of the binding sites found on SARS CoV 2 proteins. After that docking was used to confirm the results.

I found drugs that inhibit the main protease, Nsp12 and Nsp3. The discovered drugs are either in clinical trials (Sildenafil, Lopinavir, Ritonavir) or have in vitro antiviral activity (Nelfinavir, Indinavir, Amprenavir, depiqulinum , Gemcitabine, Raltitrexed, Aprepitant, montelukast, Ouabain, Raloxifene) whether against SARS CoV 2 or other viruses. In addition to this, further analysis of pockets revealed a steroidal pocket that might open the door to hypotheses on why the mortality of men is higher than women.

Many of the in silico repurposing studies test binding of the compound to the target using docking. The significance of this study adds to the similarity between the drug binding site and the target binding site. This takes into consideration the dynamic behaviour of the pocket after ligand binding.


In silico
SwissDock Web server
Drug design
drug repurposing opportunities
Drug Repurposing Approaches
Drug repurposing and Molecular docking


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