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Review 1: "Identification of 14 Known Drugs as Inhibitors of the Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2"

This study employs a consensus virtual screening protocol to identify FDA-approved compounds that inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) and discover a cloverleaf binding pattern common to active compounds. These findings should be considered reliable.

Published onOct 08, 2020
Review 1: "Identification of 14 Known Drugs as Inhibitors of the Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2"

RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:

  • Strong. The main study claims are very well-justified by the data and analytic methods used. There is little room for doubt that the study produced has very similar results and conclusions as compared with the hypothetical ideal study. The study’s main claims should be considered conclusive and actionable without reservation.



The preprint article by Ghahremanpour et al. Present an in-silico virtual screening of approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. Four different docking methods were used on a consensus basis, and compound selected among the top 10% of each method. Selected compounds were subjected to MD simulations to evaluate the stability of the obtained complexes, showing a low displacement from their original position for most of the compounds. Seventeen compounds were tested against Mpro experimentally. Fourteen of them showed some activity (reduction of the Mpro activity to below 40%), most of them in the high micromolar range and five in the low-medium micromolar.

Methods are well described and might be easily reproduced by an expert in the field.

I think that this preprint article can be classified as “strong”, since the study is well conceived, competently performed and conclusions are correctly drawn.


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