Accelerating the repurposing of FDA-approved drugs against coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)†
The recent release of the main protein structures belonging to SARS CoV-2, responsible for the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), strongly pushed for identifying valuable drug treatments. With this aim, we show a repurposing study on FDA-approved drugs applying a new computational protocol and introducing a novel parameter called IVSratio. Starting with a virtual screening against three SARS CoV-2 targets (main protease, papain-like protease, spike protein), the top-ranked molecules were reassessed combining the Inverse Virtual Screening novel approach and MM-GBSA calculations. Applying this protocol, a list of drugs was identified against the three investigated targets. Also, the top-ranked selected compounds on each target (rutin vs. main protease, velpatasvir vs. papain-like protease, lomitapide vs. spike protein) were further tested with molecular dynamics simulations to confirm the promising binding modes, obtaining encouraging results such as high stability of the complex during the simulation and a good protein–ligand interaction network involving some important residues of each target. Moreover, the recent outcomes highlighting the inhibitory activity of quercetin, a natural compound strictly related to rutin, on the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, strengthened the applicability of the proposed workflow.