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Anti-malarial Drugs are Not Created Equal for SARS-CoV-2 Treatment: A Computational Analysis Evidence

Author(s):

Simone Ronsisvalle, Federica Panarello, Rosaria Di Mauro, Renato Bernardini, Giovanni Li Volti* and Giuseppina Cantarella  

Abstract:


Background: The evolution of the pandemic is putting national healthcare systems to a huge effort worldwide and at present, there is no preferred antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Recently, SARS-Cov-2 protease structure was released and may be exploited in in-silico studies in order to conduct molecular docking analysis.

Methods: In particular, we compared the binding of two used antimalarial drugs (i.e. chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine) which showed some potential clinical effects in COVID-19 patients, using as positive control tree antiviral recognized compounds, ritonavir, lopinavir and darunavir.

Results: Our results showed that hydroxychloroquine but not chloroquine exhibited a significant binding activity to the main protease similar to that possessed by protease inhibitors tested for other viral infections.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that hydroxychloroquine may exert additional direct antiviral activity compared to chloroquine. In the absence of clinical studies comparing the efficacy of these two compounds, hydroxychloroquine may offer additional effects and may be considered as first choice.

Keywords:

COVID19, protease inhibitor, SARS-CoV-2, computational analysis.

Affiliation:

Department of Drug Sciences, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria, 6 95125 Catania, Department of Drug Sciences, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria, 6 95125 Catania, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 97, 95131 Catania, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 97, 95131 Catania, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 97, 95131 Catania, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 97, 95131 Catania



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