Since the infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in China during December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread on a global scale, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue a warning. While novel vaccines and drugs that target SARS-CoV-2 are under development, this review provides information on therapeutics which are under clinical trials or are proposed to antagonize SARS-CoV-2. Based on the information gained from the responses to other RNA coronaviruses, including the strains that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronaviruses and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), drug repurposing might be a viable strategy. Since several antiviral therapies can inhibit viral replication cycles or relieve symptoms, mechanisms unique to RNA viruses will be important for the clinical development of antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. Given that several currently marketed drugs may be efficient therapeutic agents for severe COVID-19 cases, they may be beneficial for future viral pandemics and other infections caused by RNA viruses when standard treatments are unavailable.
Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; infection; drug discovery; drug repositioning