Potential Antiviral Drugs for SARS-Cov-2 Treatment: Preclinical Findings and Ongoing Clinical Research.In Vivo. 2020 Jun; 34(3 Suppl):1597-1602.V
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), initially termed 2019-new CoV (2019-nCoV), is a novel coronavirus responsible for the severe respiratory illness currently ongoing worldwide from the beginning of December 2019. This beta gene virus, very close to bat coronaviruses (bat-CoV-RaTG13) and bat-SL-CoVZC45, causes a severe disease, similar to those caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV and SARS-CoV viruses, featured by low to moderate mortality rate. Unfortunately, the antiviral drugs commonly used in clinical practice to treat viral infections, are not applicable to SARS-Cov-2 and no vaccine is available. Thus, it is extremely necessary to identify new drugs suitable for the treatment of the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Different preclinical studies conducted on other coronaviruses suggested that promising clinical outcomes for 2019-nCoV should be obtained by using alpha-interferon, chloroquine phosphate, arabinol, remdesivir, lopinavir/ritonavir, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, clinical trials with these suitable drugs should be performed on patients affected by SARS-Cov-2 to prove their efficacy and safety. Finally, a very promising therapeutic drug, tocilizumab, is discussed; it is currently used to treat patients presenting COVID-19 pneumonia. Herein, we recapitulate these experimental studies to highlight the use of antiviral drugs for the treatment of SARS-Cov-2 disease.