A rational roadmap for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pharmacotherapeutic research and development

Steve Alexander, Jane Armstrong, Anthony Davenport, Jamie Davies, Elena Faccenda, Simon Harding, Francesca Levi-Schaffer, Adam Pawson, Christopher Southan, Michael Spedding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this review, we identify opportunities for drug discovery in the treatment of COVID‐19 and in so doing, provide a rational roadmap whereby pharmacology and pharmacologists can mitigate against the global pandemic. We assess the scope for targetting key host and viral targets in the mid‐term, by first screening these targets against drugs already licensed; an agenda for drug re‐purposing, which should allow rapid translation to clinical trials. A simultaneous, multi‐pronged approach using conventional drug discovery methodologies aimed at discovering novel chemical and biological means targetting a short‐list of host and viral entities should extend the arsenal of anti‐SARS‐CoV‐2 agents. This longer‐term strategy would provide a deeper pool of drug choices for future‐proofing against acquired drug resistance. Second, there will be further viral threats, which will inevitably evade existing vaccines. This will require a coherent therapeutic strategy which pharmacology and pharmacologists are best placed to provide.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Early online date1 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2020

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