Overview of the status of the development of antiviral drugs for COVID-19

Seung Yun Lee1, Ji Hyup Kang1, Hea Jin Kang1, Sun Jin Hur1,*
Author Information & Copyright
1Chung-Ang University, Anseong-si 17546, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Sun Jin Hur, Chung-Ang University, Anseong-si 17546, Korea, Republic of. E-mail:

© Copyright 2020 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jul 23, 2020; Accepted: Jul 30, 2020

Published Online: Jul 30, 2020


In this study, we surveyed worldwide media reports and research papers on the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs for COVID-19 treatment published over the past few months. We found that more studies were being conducted on the use of already approved drugs (remdesivir, lopinavir/ritonavir, chloroquine, niclosamide, and ivermectin) as new COVID-19 treatments, than on the development of new antiviral drugs. This could be due to the urgent need for drug development. We found that till date, there seem to be no results on current or future COVID-19 vaccine development. However, media reports showed that numerous companies have invested in vaccine development and some clinical trials are already underway (mostly in phase I–II). According to the results of our survey, the drugs that have been previously approved to treat other diseases have not yet been found to be very effective in treating COVID-19 patients; however, remdesivir is the most promising drug. Due to the pandemic situation, the number of patients participating in these clinical trials, compared to that in other previous clinical studies, is small. Therefore, due to the low reliability of the findings, additional experiments must be continued.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Vaccine development; Antiviral drug