Drug repurposing for the treatment of COVID-19

Yuri Kato, Kazuhiro Nishiyama, Akiyuki Nishimura, Takamasa Noda, Kaori Okabe, Takahiro Kusakabe, Yasunari Kanda, Motohiro Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains prevalent worldwide since its onset was confirmed in Wuhan, China in 2019. Vaccines against the causative virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have shown a preventive effect against the onset and severity of COVID-19, and social and economic activities are gradually recovering. However, the presence of vaccine-resistant variants has been reported, and the development of therapeutic agents for patients with severe COVID-19 and related sequelae remains urgent. Drug repurposing, also called drug repositioning or eco-pharma, is the strategy of using previously approved and safe drugs for a therapeutic indication that is different from their original indication. The risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality increases with advancing age, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. We have reported three protein–protein interactions that are related to heart failure, and recently identified that one mechanism increases the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mammalian cells. This review outlines the global efforts and outcomes of drug repurposing research for the treatment of severe COVID-19. It also discusses our recent finding of a new protein–protein interaction that is common to COVID-19 aggravation and heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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