What Are the Odds of Finding a COVID-19 Drug from a Lab Repurposing Screen?

The repurposing of known drugs is vital to developing new, safe and cost-effective treatments for a wide range of conditions. Perhaps one of the best 'in plain sight' example is Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Originally developed by German manufacturer Bayer back in 1899 as a treatment for pain and fever, the drug has since been proved to be effective against heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a worldwide interest in the repurposing of drugs such as remdesivir and dexamethasone. Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola. While repurposing can be crucial for delivering new treatments to patients, the approach also raises a important question – does it work?

This fascinating new article via the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling arrives at an interesting conclusion -  things don’t always work out as you'd hope.