A rational roadmap for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pharmacotherapeutic research and development: IUPHAR Review 29

Steve P.H. Alexander*, Jane F. Armstrong, Anthony P. Davenport, Jamie A. Davies, Elena Faccenda, Simon D. Harding, Francesca Levi-Schaffer, Janet J. Maguire, Adam J. Pawson, Christopher Southan, Michael Spedding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


In this review, we identify opportunities for drug discovery in the treatment of COVID-19 and, in so doing, provide a rational roadmap whereby pharmacology and pharmacologists can mitigate against the global pandemic. We assess the scope for targeting key host and viral targets in the mid-term, by first screening these targets against drugs already licensed, an agenda for drug repurposing, which should allow rapid translation to clinical trials. A simultaneous, multi-pronged approach using conventional drug discovery methods aimed at discovering novel chemical and biological means of targeting a short list of host and viral entities which should extend the arsenal of anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. This longer term strategy would provide a deeper pool of drug choices for future-proofing against acquired drug resistance. Second, there will be further viral threats, which will inevitably evade existing vaccines. This will require a coherent therapeutic strategy which pharmacology and pharmacologists are best placed to provide. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on The Pharmacology of COVID-19. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v177.21/issuetoc.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4942-4966
Number of pages25
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society


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