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Research Article

Current Insights and Molecular Docking Studies of the Drugs under Clinical Trial as RdRp Inhibitors in COVID-19 Treatment

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 46 ]


Irine Pauly, Ankit Kumar Singh, Adarsh Kumar, Yogesh Singh, Suresh Thareja, Mohammad A. Kamal, Amita Verma* and Pradeep Kumar*   Pages 3677 - 3705 ( 29 )


Study Background & Objective: After the influenza pandemic (1918), COVID-19 was declared a Vth pandemic by the WHO in 2020. SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA-enveloped single-stranded virus. Based on the structure and life cycle, Protease (3CLpro), RdRp, ACE2, IL-6, and TMPRSS2 are the major targets for drug development against COVID-19. Pre-existing several drugs (FDA-approved) are used to inhibit the above targets in different diseases. In coronavirus treatment, these drugs are also in different clinical trial stages. Remdesivir (RdRp inhibitor) is the only FDA-approved medicine for coronavirus treatment. In the present study, by using the drug repurposing strategy, 70 preexisting clinical or under clinical trial molecules were used in scrutiny for RdRp inhibitor potent molecules in coronavirus treatment being surveyed via docking studies. Molecular simulation studies further confirmed the binding mechanism and stability of the most potent compounds.

Material and Methods: Docking studies were performed using the Maestro 12.9 module of Schrodinger software over 70 molecules with RdRp as the target and remdesivir as the standard drug and further confirmed by simulation studies.

Results: The docking studies showed that many HIV protease inhibitors demonstrated remarkable binding interactions with the target RdRp. Protease inhibitors such as lopinavir and ritonavir are effective. Along with these, AT-527, ledipasvir, bicalutamide, and cobicistat showed improved docking scores. RMSD and RMSF were further analyzed for potent ledipasvir and ritonavir by simulation studies and were identified as potential candidates for corona disease.

Conclusion: The drug repurposing approach provides a new avenue in COVID-19 treatment.


SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, RdRp, remdesivir, life cycle, docking and simulation.


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