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Remdesivir—Bringing Hope for COVID-19 Treatment

by Naser F. Al-Tannak 1,*,†, Ladislav Novotny 1,† and Adel Alhunayan 2,†
1
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait
2
School of Medicine, Health Science Center, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
All authors contributed equally to this work.
Sci. Pharm. 2020, 88(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/scipharm88020029
Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 8 June 2020 / Accepted: 10 June 2020 / Published: 12 June 2020
At the beginning of 2020, the world was swept with a wave of a new coronavirus disease, named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO 2). The causative agent of this infection is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The data available on one of the promising therapeutic agents—nucleotide analog remdesivir (Gilead Sciences number GS-5734)—were evaluated. These data were concerned with remdesivir activation from the prodrug to the active molecule—triphosphate containing 1′-cyano group and modified nucleobase. This triphosphate competes with the natural substrate adenosine triphosphate. Additionally, its mechanisms of action based on RNA and proofreading exonuclease inhibition, leading to the delayed RNA chain termination of infected cells, and basic pharmacological data were assessed. Additionally, the analytical determination of remdesivir and its metabolites in cells and body liquids and also some data from remdesivir use in other RNA infections—such as Ebola, Nipah virus infection, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)—were summarized. More recent and more detailed data on the clinical use of remdesivir in COVID-19 were reported, showing the intensive efforts of clinicians and scientists to develop a cure for this new disease. Remdesivir as such represents one of the more promising alternatives for COVID-19 therapy, however the current understanding of this disease and the possible ways of dealing with it requires further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: remdesivir; GS-5734; COVID-19; WHO; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; endonuclease; RNA viral infections; GS-441524 remdesivir; GS-5734; COVID-19; WHO; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; endonuclease; RNA viral infections; GS-441524
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Al-Tannak, N.F.; Novotny, L.; Alhunayan, A. Remdesivir—Bringing Hope for COVID-19 Treatment. Sci. Pharm. 2020, 88, 29.

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