Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2020 Dec 6. doi: 10.1080/13543776.2021.1861248. Online ahead of print.
Introduction : The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 represents a serious health issue worldwide, with more than 61 million cases and more than 1.4 million death since the beginning of the epidemic near the end of 2019. The scientific community strongly responded to this emergency situation with massive research efforts, mostly focused on diagnosis and clinical investigation of therapeutic solutions. In this scenario, drug repurposing played a crucial role in accelerating advanced clinical testing and shortening the time to access the regulatory review. Areas covered : This review covers the main and most successful drug repurposing approaches from a design, clinical, and regulatory standpoint. Available patents on repurposed drugs are also discussed. Expert opinion : Drug repurposing proved highly successful in response to the current pandemic, with remdesivir becoming the first specific antiviral drug approved for the treatment of COVID-19. In parallel, a number of drugs such as corticosteroids and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are used to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients, while clinical testing of additional therapeutic options is ongoing. It is reasonably expected that these research efforts will deliver optimized and specific therapeutic tools that will increase the preparedness of health systems to possible future epidemics.