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