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Table 1 Potential therapeutic agents for COVID-19

From: Immunologic aspects of characteristics, diagnosis, and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Drug/agents Evidence level Mechanisms Reference
Serine protease TMPRSS2 cell binds the viral spike (S) protein, leading to S protein priming by host
cell protease via receptor ACE2
Serotonin receptor antagonist
cell inhibits the 3 chymotrypsin-like (3C-like) protease [61]
S protein-angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) blockers cell blocks the binding of S protein to ACE2 [4]
clinical use inhibits the fusion between viral envelope and endosomal/lysosomal membranes [62]
Protease inhibitors
(HIV protease inhibitors)
clinical use may possibly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 protease [63]
cell may modulate host immunity and/or cause RNA replication catastrophe [64]
Protease inhibitors
cell a selective post-translational inhibitor [65]
Nucleotide analog prodrug remdesivir cell and clinical use (first case of COVID-19 in the United States) possible inhibitor of RNA replication [66, 67]
Indole-derivative molecule arbidol cell Inhibits fusion between viral envelope and cellular membranes [68]
Immunosuppressive agent cyclosporine A cell block replication via inhibition of nucleocapsid protein [69]
Monoclonal antibody CR3022 cell and clinical use potently binds
the receptor binding domain of S protein
Monoclonal antibody single-chain variable region fragments, scFv, 80R cell acts against the S1 domain of S protein [71]
Monoclonal antibody CR3014 cell neutralization of viral infectivity [72]
Immunotherapeutic potential
convalescent plasma
cell and clinical use neutralization of viral infectivity [73, 74]
IFN-α and IFN-β
cell induction of interferon-stimulated genes to suppress viral replication [75, 76]
Cytokine blocker
cytokine IL-37
cell inhibits inflammation, by acting on mTOR and increasing the activity of adenosine monophosphate kinase [77]
Cytokine blocker
cell anti-inflammation; inhibits IL-6 receptor [78]
Cytokine blocker
antibody against IL-6 receptor
Clinical use anti-inflammation; inhibits IL-6 receptor