Resources and computational strategies to advance small molecule SARS-CoV-2 discovery: Lessons from the pandemic and preparing for future health crises.

Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Natesh Singh, Bruno Villoutreix

Abstract

There is an urgent need to identify new therapies that prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and improve the outcome of COVID-19 patients. This pandemic has thus spurred intensive research in most scientific areas and in a short period of time, several vaccines have been developed. But, while the race to find vaccines for COVID-19 has dominated the headlines, other types of therapeutic agents are being developed. In this mini-review, we report several databases and online tools that could assist the discovery of anti-SARS-CoV-2 small chemical compounds and peptides. We then give examples of studies that combined in silico and in vitro screening, either for drug repositioning purposes or to search for novel bioactive compounds. Finally, we question the overall lack of discussion and plan observed in academic research in many countries during this crisis and suggest that there is room for improvement.

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