Development of remdesivir repositioning as a nucleotide analog against COVID-19 RNA dependent RNA polymerase
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative representative of a severe respiratory illness resulted in widespread human infections and deaths in nearly all of the countries since late 2019. There is no therapeutic FDA-approved drug against SARS-CoV-2 infection, although a combination of anti-viral drugs is directly being practiced in some countries. A broad-spectrum of antiviral agents are being currently evaluated in clinical trials, and in this review, we specifically focus on the application of Remdesivir (RVD) as a potential anti-viral compound against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) -CoV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. First, we overview the general information about SARS-CoV-2, followed by application of RDV as a nucleotide analogue which can potentially inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of COVs. Afterwards, we discussed the kinetics of SARS- or MERS-CoV proliferation in animal models which is significantly different compared to that in humans. Finally, some ongoing challenges and future perspective on the application of RDV either alone or in combination with other anti-viral agents against CoVs infection were surveyed to determine the efficiency of RDV in preclinical trials. As a result, this paper provides crucial evidence of the potency of RDV to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.