High-throughput screening assays for SARS-CoV-2 drug development: Current status and future directions.

Drug Discovery Today
Tuan XuRuili Huang


In response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a panel of assays has been developed and applied to screen collections of approved and investigational drugs for anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activity in a quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) format. In this review, we applied data-driven approaches to evaluate the ability of each assay to identify potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 leads. Multitarget assays were found to show advantages in terms of accuracy and efficiency over single-target assays, whereas target-specific assays were more suitable for investigating compound mechanisms of action. Moreover, strict filtering with counter screens might be more detrimental than beneficial in identifying true positives. Thus, developing novel HTS assays acting simultaneously against multiple targets in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle will benefit anti-COVID-19 drug discovery.


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Software Mentioned

R package ‘ pheatmap ’

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