REDAC - REpositioning Drugs Against COVID-19
The research group is planning to exploit its decade-long experience in drug design to intensively target some of the most important molecular players involved in the pathology, the viral proteins Main Protease (Mpro) and RNA-dependant RNA polymerase (RdRp), and the human host proteins Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and Mitochondrial Assembly 1 (MAS1). Propelled by the necessity of finding an efficient treatment in all haste, the aim of this proposal is to reposition market-approved drugs to provide easily accessible tools for treatment of COVID-19 in multiple stages of the infection. Indeed, the chosen targets cover all the phases of SARS-CoV-2 lifespan, from penetration inside the host cell (ACE2), to assembly of the replication machinery (Mpro) and reproduction of the viral genome (RdRp). However, our strategy is not only focused on suppressing viral replication. In fact, we also plan to identify drugs with agonist activity towards MAS1, a G-protein coupled receptor known for mitigating the virus induced inflammatory storm in the later and clinically more severe stages of the pathology.