Repurposed medicines and COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has put drug repurposing in the spotlight in a way that has never happened before. If shown to be effective in COVID-19, existing medicines with known safety profiles can be brought to clinical use quickly and will likely offer a more rapid hope of tackling the virus than a vaccine. In nearly all cases, use of existing drugs will also offer a highly affordable solution.

Many Artificial Intelligence and bioinformatics studies are cross-referencing vast numbers of different medicines with new information about the biology of SARS CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) and dynamic clinical trials are taking place all over the world. These trials have secured regulatory approval far more quickly than would normally be the case and many have been designed to allow for rapid review of information so that the most promising agents can be prioritised.

More research is required before various medicines can be widely prescribed as COVID-19 prophylaxis or treatment, but the direction of travel is encouraging.

As this data develops, it is interesting to note that various druggable targets associated with the COC Protocol medications in cancer (e.g. glycolysis, lipid accumulation, inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines) also appear to be relevant in COVID-19.

Please see below for further reading.

The SARS-CoV-2 Transcriptional Metabolic Signature in Lung Epithelium


Metformin Treatment Was Associated with Decreased Mortality in COVID-19 Patients with Diabetes in a Retrospective Analysis


Metformin in COVID-19: A possible role beyond diabetes


Modulation of Cytokine and Cytokine Receptor/Antagonist by Treatment with Doxycycline and Tetracycline in Patients with Dengue Fever


Further aspects of doxycycline therapy in COVID‐19


A Combination of Ivermectin and Doxycycline Possibly Blocks the Viral Entry and Modulates the Innate Immune Response in COVID-19 Patients


In-hospital use of statins is associated with a reduced risk of mortality among individuals with COVID-19